Clammy hands, a swollen throat and a heart waiting to rip your chest open with its constant thumping. We look like a pile of nerves when we’d rather seem as cool as John Wayne in a stare-down. Now, you may not be able to entirely change the way you feel [although here are some tips to do that], but when fear hits the rocks, simply manipulate [Read on].
Manipulate facts uncovered from research studies to warp what people see. It’s all psychology. So, we’ve borrowed some cool from the Don Corleone toolbox.
Here are pointers to mask your terrorized interior (aka. 5 Easy Ways To Appear More Confident Than You Feel) :
A recent study shows that people wearing red are perceived to be more dominating, aggressive and sexy than people wearing blue or grey. So, even though you’d rather be blending into the crowd with beads of sweat rolling down your face, sweat it out in a red dress or tie [at least you’ll look like an intimidating mess].
This means you’ll need to be careful about the social situations in which you don this color. For interviews and first dates, maybe just a splash of red will do [you don’t want to scare them off].
Straight from Stuart Heritage from the Guardian, enjoy this hilarious commentary in light of the study:
“People would see me hurtling towards them in a fiery blaze of red, and throw themselves at my feet. They would plead for forgiveness, or declare their undying love, or vow to dedicate the rest of their lives to fulfilling my every berserk whim.”
Pay attention to your body
You’ve heard it before, but there’s evidence: A study conducted at the Ohio State University has shown the connection between body posture and confidence – an actual connection. If you’re sitting up straight, you have more confidence in your thoughts [Good if you’re predisposed to rambling].
Borrow the bold from the likes of Don Draper and stand, walk and sit with your shoulders thrown back, chest open, feet firm on the ground, and chin slightly turned up [and don’t forget the nonchalant look]. If you’re giving a presentation, use hand gestures and expressions to enhance your point to appear more confident.
Tip: Taking up space in a room translates confidence, so standing stiff isn’t going to work in your favor. Do a little dance to loosen up your body in the washroom right before showtime.
Dress your best
Smartly-dressed individuals are perceived to be more professional and capable. Your attire also has an effect on our self-perception, changing our behavior. For instance, when students in a study wore a superman t-shirt, they felt more confident. So, spend an extra minute or two to iron that shirt or take the effort to don those untouched heels.
Work out before the showdown
You know how after a really good work out session, you feel like you can conquer the world? Manipulate that high. Your body releases endorphins, also known as the happy chemical. Physical exercise even boosts your self-confidence and allows you to handle stressful situations better [perfect, eh?]. Aerobic exercise gives you an instant boost in creativity, so you can tackle those difficult questions like a pro.
Tip: If you have high anxiety or suffer from an anxiety disorder, exercise can really help as part of treatment.
Lower your voice tone
It’s no wonder Johnny Cash’s [or even Hozier’s] low baritones makes us tremble with affection. Several studies suggest that, regardless of gender or age, we prefer low-pitched voice tones.
People who speak in low tones come across as leadership-material. This is great to keep in mind if you’re walking into an interview or even giving a speech. Ladies, you are perceived as more authoritative if you ‘talk like a man’.
These tips are applicable for any situation. Strut your fine behind into that presentation and shake up their world. March into that office and ask “the man” for a raise. Walk up to that jaw-droppingly stunning guy at the bar [hey, it’s more difficult for women].