6 Ways to Appear More Confident

These simple tips will help make you seem like the king or queen of any social scene:

  1. Avoid nervous habits.
  2. Shaky legs and feet. Loosening your collar. Repeating phrases or talking too quickly. These can all make you appear uncomfortable, anxious, or like a potential serial killer. If you get nervous on job interviews, be sure to research the company beforehand, look over your own resume, and anticipate possible questions and answers. Remember: You didn’t get the interview because they thought you’d be bad at the job. So, try not to worry, and if you can’t help it, work on avoiding these obvious habits so no one will suspect you were the nervous nelly who dropped the stinky bomb in the bathroom. Click here to learn how you can bring yourself success just by thinking about it.

  3. Stand up straight.
  4. Posture matters. Confident people exude a healthy, dominant stance by keeping their feet shoulder-width apart and leaning slightly forward. Besides looking healthier, straightening out your back can make you appear taller and more in command. It can also save you from being called “Igor” or “Notre Dame” every time someone wants to crack a joke. For 5 ways to improve your posture, click here.

  5. Smile.
  6. They don’t call it a “winning” smile for nothing, and no, this has nothing to do with Charlie Sheen. Putting a friendly face on makes you appear approachable, fun, and carefree—all traits that signal effortless success. Be sure to wear a clean smile; floss is your friend. So is a portable mirror to check for spinach and other stuff.

  7. Shake hands firmly.
  8. There’s almost nothing worse than a bad handshake—maybe clammy palms. This guy at a bar one time… I digress. If your hand hangs limply or you squeeze hard enough to hurt, you’re going to lose out on the potential of this tip. Customize your pressure to the other person’s. Then, apply only slightly more force on your end. Of course if the other shaker suffers from limp hands, you shouldn’t mirror their mistake. You should still apply slightly more firmness and pressure. I’ve found most handshakes include two to three pumps up and down. For more on this tip, click here.

  9. Make eye contact.
  10. Nod and imitate. Unless you disagree with what is being said, a nod shows agreeableness and cues others that you’re on the same page mentally. Despite what you might have been told, I find that there’s nothing more confident than admitting how you feel. Ladies, am I right? A nod is a nonverbal way to communicate your thoughts and opinions. Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. By mirroring your boss or interviewer’s habits, you may plant the subconscious seed that you’re already ahead of the game.
    There is nothing that says “I’m insecure” more than the inability to make eye contact. Remember middle school? The guy or girl of your dreams. You probably glanced away quickly whenever their eyes met yours. If you haven’t already conquered this fear, now is the time to work on making and maintaining eye contact with others. Start small, practice on the dog. Confident professionals want to be taken seriously, and they want to feel like they’re being listened to—kind of like parents. Were yours afraid to look you in the eye when you did something wrong? Don’t be afraid to channel your inner mother or father if making eye contact is difficult for you.

Use these tips in moderation. You never want to be the candidate, or creep, who looks like they have a stick shoved up their (bleep!) who smiles too much and squeezes fingers with a death-grip clutch all while staring for just a little too long. Nodding and imitating too often might make people think you’re mocking them, so be careful. We all have nervous habits. I pick at my nails and I’m usually the bomb dropper in the bathroom—shhh, don’t tell! Try to work on making yourself more comfortable, and you’ll appear confident and capable in no time!

Do you have any tricks, pet peeves, or funny stories about appearing confident? Spill the beans here!

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  1. Mary
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    My son and I went to take a test for the Postal Service. Before going I instructed him about the best way to make a good impression. I told him that he shouldn’t do anything that would draw attention in a negative way. He should have everything required, the filled out forms, two pencils, etc. We got in and were seated. The speaker said to fill in our names the test would start in 5 minutes. I took out my pencils and went for my glasses. T hey weren’t in my purse! I looked and looked. I finally found this rectangular magnifying glass. I thought maybe I could take the test with this. Well we had to color in our answers and I couldn’t get my name right. I had to go talk to the speaker and ask if I could come back in the afternoon and take the test. She said I could. I asked if I had to ask for anyone special when I returned
    and she said, “No we’ll remember you.”

  2. Valentina Vayntraub
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the info! I’ll start practicing now :)

  3. Stan
    Posted April 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Good tips. really work

  4. Joe
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    If the confident gig is not working then you can surrender to just having a moment of fun.
    Rather than look right in the eye of your fellow homosapien try looking squarely and intently at the spot BETWEEN both eyes and a little above the unibrow spot.

    I assure you one person at least will start smiling.

  5. Sara Kosmyna
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Great feedback.

    Mary, that story was funny. I guess you were a tad over-confident that you had everything you needed.

    Valentina and Stan, I’m so happy you plan to utilize these tips in your everyday lives.

    Joe, very humorous suggestion. Perhaps this one is better practiced on a friend before an actual interview.

    Thank you everyone!

  6. Mary
    Posted April 12, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    You are so right! LOL. I didn’t really think of it as over confidence but looking back now there it is.

  7. Oleg
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Cool post, I think that everyone could benefit from this post. Something I don’t do and really should start utilizing more in my daily interaction at work and socially is look people in the eyes, stand up straight, and definitely avoid nervous habits (everybody has them).

    Smiling is perhaps the most important aspect of confidence!

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