How to Sound Confident and Professional
- Speak up. Confident people are also loud people, and for good reason: it’s much easier to be heard, and therefore to be respected, when you speak loudly and clearly enough for everyone to hear. The same holds true for your words’ pace and cadence: enunciate clearly, but don’t go overboard; speak at a natural pace that reflects your confident demeanor.
- Use your hands. For emphasis! Many of our best speakers use their hands as an extension of their speech—think Mark Zuckerberg or Martin Luther King Junior—and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. Hand gestures should feel organic; practice in front of a mirror if you need to ensure they’re enhancing (not distracting from) what you’re saying.
- Practice in different settings. Speaking with confidence is like being an actor—it takes practice! In addition to practicing in front of a mirror (and asking a friend or two for feedback if possible), try speaking in front of the video camera on your laptop or phone so that you can see yourself presenting while keeping tabs on how confident you appear (hint: say “like” way less than usual). Once you’ve got this part down, take it one step further by practicing public speaking situations with small groups of friends who will offer constructive criticism about how well you spoke up for yourself in the moment—this will help get rid off any lingering jitters as soon as possible. Before long, speaking confidently will come naturally!
Keep your posture open and upright.
Open, upright posture can help you appear and sound confident. Your body sends messages to your brain, so if you stand up tall and project your voice, it will signal to your brain that you are feeling confident. You will feel more comfortable speaking in front of a group or having a difficult conversation with a coworker.
If you’re in an important meeting or an interview where you want to appear confident, try practicing the following tips:
- Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back; this will provide for better breathing by opening up your lungs. Practicing good posture can have many benefits including helping with digestion and circulation.
- Avoid crossing your arms or legs, which can make for extra-tight muscles and stiffness.
- Make sure that your feet are planted firmly on the ground; this position allows for maximum balance as well as voice projection.
If you know that there are going to be a lot of distractions at a meeting, find a way to take notes or record on your computer or phone.
If you know that there are going to be a lot of distractions at a meeting, find a way to take notes or record on your computer or phone. Make sure to ask the speaker if they mind being recorded first! You can also use apps or programs like Evernote, which is pretty cool because it lets you search for any specific terms in the recording and find them easily later.
It’s super important not to make people feel bad about taking notes—receiving feedback is hard for most people, so don’t add insult to injury by acting like their presentation wasn’t worthy of your attention! Also make sure to keep a copy of what you write down since usually class presentations don’t have an official transcript.
Smile and make eye contact with people when you’re talking to them.
Smile and make eye contact with people when you’re talking to them. “You want to project confidence and interest,” says DiSalvo. “It’s like a fake it ’til you make it situation.” He suggests making direct eye contact with the person you’re talking to, while scanning the room every fifteen or twenty seconds. Eye contact is essential for effective communication and conveys that you are focused on who’s speaking, signal attention and interest, show respect, build trust, and exude confidence.
If your eyes get tired from staring at someone all day, look into their eyes more than their pupils. You can try looking at the sides of their faces too! DiSalvo also suggests smiling with your eyes in addition to your mouth – this makes people feel more comfortable around you because they know that you’re friendly.
You can sound confident by speaking up and keeping your posture open.
- You can sound confident by speaking up and keeping your posture open.
How you stand, sit or walk is important for making a good impression. If you want people to think of you as self-assured and confident, stand tall and keep your shoulders back. Good posture helps you project the image of being in control, more authoritative and more competent. The same is true if you’re sitting down: Use good posture, sit up straight and don’t cross your arms across your chest as it’ll make you appear defensive or unsure of yourself.
- You can sound confident by looking people in the eye when talking to them.
Eye contact is an important part of how we communicate with one another, especially when we’re trying to get our message across in a professional way. Looking someone directly in the eye gives them confidence that what you’re saying is honest and true — after all, no one wants to deal with lying liars who lie! In addition to giving others confidence in what you have to say, looking someone else in the eye also conveys that you are confident about what’s coming out of your mouth.