How Leaders Can Project Confidence During PresentationsFebruary, 27 2013
A lucky few may naturally project a confident air; the majority of people have to work to develop this skill. After all, what you let people see is what they will conclude.
To appear confident, how you look and sound needs to match what you say. “For example, if you’re talking about your product’s most exciting feature, your expression should be big, your voice energized, and your body engaged. Fidgeting and staring at the floor would look out of sync,” Goodman adds.
She offers some tips to help you look and feel more confident.
Watch Yourself Rehearse on Video
The single best tool for self-editing is reading your work out loud. Same goes for presentations. The easiest way to recognize where you need to improve is to watch your performance. Goodman suggests a few things to pay attention to:
- Moments that seem unconvincing
- Breaking eye contact
- Enthusiasm in your voice and body
It’s extremely awkward to watch yourself on video, but because we’re our own worst critics, it works.
Pull Yourself Away from the Slides
When you present an idea, speak from memory, not from your presentation slides. The pitch should come from emotion, so show your belief in the product. Your emotional energy makes you appear more confident and inspires others to believe in your idea.
Match What You Say with Emotions and Body Language
Goodman says to engage your face, hands, and body to help you communicate a point. Confident people stand up straight, maintain eye contact, and offer a firm handshake. The position of your head also speaks volumes to people. To make you appear self-assured and authoritative, keep your head straight, but if you want to come across as friendly and open, tilt your head to one side.
In high-pressure situations, your team looks to you for confident, decisive action. Confident people don’t show hesitation when it is time to act. Keep your poise under stress and don’t let yourself be ruled by anxiety and apprehension. Sure you will occasionally make the wrong choice, but mistakes and failure give us an opportunity to learn, get back up, and try again.
We all know it takes hard work, intelligence, and determination to succeed as a leader. You may have these skills, but without confidence, you could harm your career or, worse, not get that big sale.
What tips would you add?