Do you sometimes feel your confidence ebbing away just when you need it most? Perhaps you’re about to do a presentation, chair a meeting or be interviewed for a job? Even top executives and university lecturers who are used to ‘exuding confidence’ may have days when their confidence levels fall. For this reason tips and techniques for boosting self confidence – whether they are psychologically or physiologically based – are always very welcome and most people in such roles have one or two tricks, exercises or strategies that work for them.
Of course confidence – and the best chance of a good performance – begins with good preparation. You should know your purpose, your material and your audience. But another important part of any successful ‘projection of you’ is ‘appearing’ confident. Confidence in delivery will support and enhance your message, and lack of confidence may undermine or even negate it.
Amy Cuddy, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School, describes a simple way to raise confidence and reduce stress in her short video Boost Power Through Body Language. I was intrigued by her message and impressed with the simplicity of her presentation. She says that ‘Powerful People’ have a higher level of testosterone (greater dominance) and a lower level of cortisol (greater risk-taking, enjoyment of challenge and ability to thrive on stress). She suggests ways of tricking your body into raising testosterone and lowering cortisol. Whether you believe that this is real science or pseudo science, I believe it actually works so please have a look. If you have a confidence-boosting trick and would like to share it, let me know and I’ll return to this topic in a future blog.