3 tips to help you appear confident, even when you're not

Perhaps more than any other skill, confidence is essential for success in the business world.

Perhaps more than any other skill, confidence is essential for success in the business world. Whether you're hoping to nail a major sales presentation or trying to convince a hiring manager that you're the one for the job, every professional interaction is joined by a common thread: You're trying to convince people to invest their faith in you.

For some people, this comes easily. These folks aren't difficult to spot - they exude charisma and are usually at the heart of the action in social or professional settings. For the rest of us, however, obtaining that kind of personal confidence can be a real challenge.

Luckily, it's possible to appear as though you have the courage of a lion even if deep down you're feeling like a lamb. And who knows - all that faking it may even lead to you feeling more secure in yourself and abilities. Here are three ways you can boost your confidence.

1. Give yourself a pep talk
The mind is an interesting thing - it can be influenced by mere suggestion in a variety of fascinating ways. Why not take advantage of this to boost your confidence in the workplace? Positive self-talk is a tactic used in many therapeutic settings, but there's no reason you can't leverage the benefits for your upcoming presentation or sales pitch. The benefits of positive self-talk are twofold. First, it's a great way to silence those voices in your head that are giving you doubts about your readiness for the task at hand. After all, it's difficult to maintain two opposing internal monologues for long.

Second - and here's the interesting part - telling yourself you're capable and confident can actually make it so. Just like forcing yourself to smile can actually improve your mood, according to Scientific American, forcing yourself to say and think positive things can have a similar effect on your self-confidence.

Smiling is a great way to make yourself look and feel more confident.

2. Study body language
Talking the talk is one thing, but being able to walk the walk is something else entirely. While Psychology Today reported that the famous statistic noting that 93 percent of meaning in communication is conveyed nonverbally is somewhat suspect, the fact remains that body language plays an important role in how you come across to others.

This may take practice, as many of our body language idiosyncrasies are habit by this point. Pay attention the next time you're in a meeting. Are you smiling? Sitting up straight? Are you making eye contact with the speaker? These are all things you likely wouldn't even think twice about, but that can all make you look more alert, engaged and confident.

3. Dive in
Being confident in a business setting is a lot like jumping off of a high dive - you can't sort of do it, you either take the plunge or you don't. In the office, that can translate to taking ownership of ideas. People who lack confidence are easy to spot because they frequently like to hedge their bets on ideas. Instead, let yourself take the plunge the next time you're in a meeting and you have an idea that would be valuable. Even if you aren't feeling overly confident at the time, you may be surprised at the positive response your ideas can generate if you let them.

This content provided by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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