How to demonstrate confidence

As a female CEO once said, as her advice for women gunning for the top job:  'It's about having the swagger – even when you may not feel it.' So, how do you do that when you're fighting your case, leading a debate or making a presentation?

  1. Be clear on your views – know what you agree with and what you don't. Be consistent. Be clear on your opinion.
  2. Be prepared – have facts and figures up your sleeve. Being able to respond to specific questions with data underpins your view.
  3. Stick to your guns – maintain your view even when challenged. Be firm, but not defensive or aggressive. Play back the other person's view to them so they know you've heard it, and then repeat your facts and the rationale of your position. Agree to disagree.
  4. Encourage debate – enabling others to challenge you implies you are comfortable with your position. It will encourage others to work with you, not against you – and that will in turn boost your confidence.
  5. Be you and be there – make eye contact, stand tall and try to enjoy it. People feel much more comfortable if they feel you are too.
  6. Keep it simple – don't make it harder for yourself than you need to. It's easier to do all of the above and display confidence if you don't overcomplicate things. 

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