How to look and sound more confident

We've been getting a lot of emails from our subscribers, telling us that their biggest problem in speaking and communicating in English is that they lack the confidence.confidence

To me, confidence is a state of mind - and having to change your state of mind is harder than it sounds. Confidence is believing in your abilities and not worrying about being embarrassed or making mistakes.

So how can we change our state of mind so that we can gain more confidence? One of the ways to do this through positive self-talk. We talked about this in our free email course, Speaking with Confidence, so I hope you've already watched those videos.

In this post, I'm going to talk about three ways to look, sound and feel more confident, especially when you're in a social situation and have to communicate with others.

  1. Stand tall, smile, and don't look down at the floor.

Every time you face a situation where you're feeling shy, scared, or nervous, your posture will automatically display these feelings. It's likely that you're slouched in your chair, biting your nails or looking down at the floor. Now, when you're confident, you would normally be standing tall, looking up towards what is in front of you, and maybe even smiling.

Research has shown that if you display the posture of confidence, it can help to convince yourself that you really are confident. This is because your mind makes associations with how you feel to the posture that you have.  So it's just a matter of reverse engineering. The next time you're feeling nervous, stand or sit tall as if you were confident. This will help to convince yourself that you are confident and brush away any nerves and doubts that you may have.

2. Ask questions and be curious about others.

Sometimes we are faced with a social situation where we have no confidence to speak because we're scared or nervous. We're worried that we have nothing interesting to say or that we'll fumble or do something embarrassing.

Now, a great tip to get over this is by focusing your energy on other people around you, and not on yourself. Instead of worrying about what to say or do, focus your attention on others. Ask people questions and be curious about them. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own heads and realise that everybody else is human just like us.

Plus, people generally love talking about themselves, so you can ask several questions to get them to open up. Soon enough, they'll be sharing something interesting about themselves that you never knew, and you may even find something in common with them. Once you're in an engaging conversation with another person, you'll forget about your worries and become more confident with yourself.

3. Maintain eye contact with others when you're speaking to them.

Now I'm not saying that you have to stare into a person's eyes the whole time, because that would just be scary. When you're talking to someone, try to keep it natural by looking at the person in the eyes when they're speaking. When you're speaking, it's completely normal to look away from time to time, but try not to look down at the floor too much. Looking down to the floor may show that you're nervous and self-conscious. Maintaining eye contact shows that you are listening and attentive to the conversation.

So there you have it. Three easy ways to look and sound more confident in any social situation. Just remember: everybody gets nervous sometimes. It's normal. With a few changes to the way we stand, sit and communicate, we can come across as confident to others. Soon enough, once we find ourselves at ease with others, confidence will come naturally to us.

Did you like these tips? If so, share this post on Facebook and leave us a comment below! What do you do to help yourself get over your nerves? We love hearing from you!

The difference between "hear" and "listen"

hear listen

Several weeks ago we received an email from Anis, asking us the difference between "hear" and "listen".  So I thought this would be a good idea for a blog post, as many can benefit from this.

Continue reading The difference between "hear" and "listen"

Are you an introvert? This one's for you.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? If you're not familiar with these terms, let me summarise them for you. Extroverts find energy from interaction with other human beings, prefer to think out loud and enjoy being in vibrant surroundings. Introverts find energy when they are alone, prefer to think before expressing their opinions and enjoy quiet surroundings. Here's a quiz for you to find out whether you're an introvert, extrovert or an ambivert (which is a combination of both).

confidence

Continue reading Are you an introvert? This one's for you.

The difference between "lend" and "borrow"

Not too long ago, my family and I were at our favourite restaurant to have our usual weekend brunch. The place is usually packed with customers, so sometimes it would take a few minutes or so to find an empty table.

lend vs borrow

Continue reading The difference between "lend" and "borrow"

How to read more books

When I was a kid, I used to love reading. Back in primary school, we had these clear plastic pouches where our teachers would put in a different book each day for us to read at home. I'd rush home and make my mum read a book with me every night.

read more books

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3 Ways to Deal with Procrastination

When it comes to learning, whether it’s improving our English, or anything else that is important to our self-development, we tend to put them aside for later as we deal with more “urgent” matters. This is called procrastination, and almost all of us are guilty of this.

procrastination

Continue reading 3 Ways to Deal with Procrastination

Terrified of public speaking? Don't try to calm down.

Do you get butterflies in your stomach before you have to speak in public? Do your knees feel like jelly? Do you feel like throwing up your lunch (or just have no appetite to eat at all, so there's nothing to throw up anyway)?

Continue reading Terrified of public speaking? Don't try to calm down.

How to understand different accents

One of our subscribers has asked us about how to keep up with somebody who is a fluent English speaker and speaks fast, too. This is a great question as I’m sure there are many of us who have trouble understanding people who talk fast. Plus, there are a lot of different accents out there.

Continue reading How to understand different accents

How to Write Formal Letters

Do you sometimes find it difficult to write a formal letter? As soon as you put pen to paper (figuratively. Who still uses pen and paper?), your mind goes blank and you can't get past "To whom it may concern".

We made this short video after being inspired by one of our readers who asked us to help him with this problem.

Check out our video here.

Do you have any questions you'd like us to address through a video or blog post? Leave a comment below or write to us at info@myenglishmatters.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

Interested to learn more from us? How about joining our free email course, Speaking with Confidence? Sign up below and we'll send you 7 tips to your inbox!

Help! I have poor grammar & I'm afraid people will laugh at me!

We’ve been getting emails from you guys saying that you have no confidence to speak because you have poor grammar and you’re afraid people will laugh at you.

Continue reading Help! I have poor grammar & I'm afraid people will laugh at me!