It’s no surprise that confidence is one of the most important traits a person can display in social interactions. Events like job interviews, networking meetings, and presentations demand a level of confidence that commands the audience and compels them to listen to you.
The ability to exude confidence, however, varies by individual, and the ones who can display it on command tend to fare better in these scenarios than those who can’t. Luckily, some pretty simple hacks can help anyone get there. Below, 14 experts from Young Entrepreneur Council share their confidence-boosting hacks and explain why they work so well to help you exude confidence that you may not even have.
Q: What’s one hack you have for instantly exuding confidence for a presentation, networking session, job interview, etc.? Why does it work so well?
Their best answers are below:
1. Be Transparent
Confidence is key to any type of scenario, whether it’s for a presentation, a speech, a job interview, or even for approaching someone you like. However, not many can instantly exude confidence naturally. One hack I can assure will boost one’s confidence is simply being transparent. Transparency is key to my confidence. This way, I show I have nothing to hide and I’m not trying to hype myself up, but am only speaking facts. – Fritz Colcol, ABN Circle
2. Own Your Weak Points
For confidence in any engagement, you should know your own expertise and also be aware of and accept your weak points. People feel nervous because they’re thinking about covering up their weaknesses by coming up with a clever response. So when something that you lack comes up in discussion, you should talk about learning rather than struggle to come up with a generic answer. – Asim Rais Siddiqui, Tekrevol
3. Adopt a Cheerleader Persona
As someone with a naturally dry tone, I can come across as bored or tired even when I’m fully engaged. To show my inner excitement, I adopt the persona of a cheerleader who is here to get everyone inspired. Showing passion is an easy way to be confident because it’s not about knowing all the answers but being excited to explore the subject. – Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems
4. Stand Up During a Call
Since many are now working remotely, one great way to sound energized and confident is to stand while you’re taking a call. If it’s audio only, try pacing as well. Standing, or pacing, will leave you a little more winded than if you were just sitting down, so you tend to overcompensate by speaking louder and more energetically. – Ashwin Sreenivas, Helia
5. Make Sure You Smile
A smile can fake anything, plus it boosts confidence. It allows you to release stress, see yourself as extra confident, and motivate yourself to do good because you see yourself happy while doing it. Smile, even though people won’t see you, for it can be felt, and sincerity and authenticity will come along after. You’ll find yourself at ease and finish your presentation or interview in no time. – Daisy Jing, Banish
6. Crack a Joke
Cracking a joke is one of the best ways to put my mind at ease. You don’t have to tell the funniest joke in the world, but merely offering a lighthearted remark or observation can be enough to change the mood and make the meeting or presentation more conversational. Whenever I get the chance, I break the ice with something humorous. Failing that, I stand up straight with perfect posture. – Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions
7. Do Power Poses
A simple hack that I use before any important event is doing power poses. I find a quiet place like a restroom, personal cabin, cafeteria, etc., and start expanding my arms and chest. Poses like hands-over-head, leaning in, elevated chin, feet propped up (prominently performed by former U.S. President Barack Obama) are primed to help you be more assertive, confident, and relaxed. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz
8. Dress to Impress
You feel more confident when you look your best, so it’s important to dress to impress. It’s easier to feel comfortable in your skin when you like how you present yourself, so a professional appearance matters. Do what you need to do to feel like a winner, starting with your look. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
9. Step Into a Future Alter Ego
Stepping into an “alter ego” gives me a space where I can confidently promote myself and my business. I ask myself how the future me, the go-to expert in my field, would carry herself. What are the qualities she embodies? Whether it’s speaking on stage, showing up on a podcast, or training entrepreneurs, when I call forward my alter ego, I am consistently confident, connected, and impactful. – Rebecca Cafiero, Rebecca Cafiero International
10. Take a Quiet Moment to Yourself
Taking a quiet moment to yourself prior to the event to visualize a successful outcome and the steps needed to achieve that can be very powerful when looking for a boost of confidence. Also, reminding yourself of your strengths and how you will incorporate them into this particular situation will help in crafting a game plan for maintaining confidence throughout the event. – Josh Awad, Flywheel Commerce
11. Remember Your Audience Is Human
Your audience is no different from you. You have insecurities and they do, too. Picture your most embarrassing or traumatic moment and imagine something similar happened to the person(s) you’ll speak to. It’ll be true because almost everyone has had a moment like that. Everyone’s human. You’ll reduce pressure and even amuse yourself with some comedic relief. Just don’t burst into laughter in front of them. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
12. Fake It Till You Make It
Some people are terrified of public speaking, but something magical happens when you start acting like the person you want to be. You somehow slowly become them and adopt their confident qualities. If you struggle with job interviews or presentations, fake it for the few minutes you have to. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
13. Imagine Yourself Succeeding
A good way to boost confidence before an interview or public speaking event is to imagine yourself succeeding. Think about being in a positive and successful environment. This will soothe you and boost your confidence for the upcoming event. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
14. Be at Peace With Any Outcome
One contrary piece of advice is to not worry or place any pressure on yourself if you make mistakes. People often catastrophize negative outcomes such as doing poorly in a job interview or making mistakes during a presentation. When you “don’t care” or, rather, make peace with any outcome, you feel peaceful and end up exuding a strong presence to your audience. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.