Confidence is one of the keys to success in every area of life! 

If you want to be more confident in public—at public speaking events, at conferences, or even just at work or with friends—here are a few tricks you can use.
We’re all timid to a certain extent, and we face our fair share of nervousness throughout our lives. But as we develop confidence, we find that the problems we through were mountains are simply molehills blown out of proportion by our anxieties.

Straighten up. As I would be marched through the streets of a town, or onto a parade square, I would recall our Company Sgt. Major giving gentle reminders to get our chests up, shoulders back, eyes forward and neck touching the back of our shirt collar and to BE PROUD…

Did you know that your posture can have a huge effect on your confidence? When you hunch over, it’s like you’re trying to protect yourself, which can make you feel more defensive.

But when you stand straight, you’ll actually feel better, more open, and more confident. For a real confidence boost, stand in the Wonder Woman pose(<= yes that’s a thing), with your hands on your hips and your chest open. Science has proven that this posture can naturally make you feel more confident.

Talk to people.  It is so easy to avoid talking with others. Often you lack confidence because you worry about what people will think about you or how they’ll respond to you. The best way to get over that worry: interact with more people.

Next time you’re out—at a conference, in the supermarket, even grabbing a coffee—take a moment to chat up a few people. It simply starts with a glance followed by a smile, followed by a Good Morning and it doesn’t matter who, but it does matter that you step out of your comfort zone. As you talk to more people, you’ll realize that you have something of value to offer and that people can be interested in you for who you are.

Listen to music. Music can help to boost your mood and raise your confidence levels like nothing else! If you don’t believe me, try listening to Alter Bridge’s “Rise Today” and tell me you don’t feel more confident, like you can do anything. Songs that are heavy on the bass will boost your confidence levels and help you feel more powerful and assertive.

Be prepared. Whether you’re giving a presentation or sitting down to a meeting, it helps to be prepared. Know what you’re going to say and have a general idea of how to answer questions that may be posed. Preparation is a critical element of confidence. After all, if you know how to handle the situation, you’ll feel less anxious about what’s to come.

Breathe. Yes, it’s as simple as that! Breathing can help to calm your nerves and quiet the anxieties roiling in your mind. Before going into a situation that has you feeling nervous, take a few minutes to breathe deeply—counting an equal number of seconds for both inhalation and exhalation. Just 2 or 3 minutes of controlled breathing will do wonders to help you feel more confident and in control.

Embrace the nerves. Even the most experienced public speakers get nervous—it’s par for the course of going up on stage or being in front of a lot of people. But the key to success is learning to embrace those feelings of anxiety. Know that you’re going to be nervous, but try to turn that nervous energy into plain old energy that will make your presentation, speech, or interaction more interesting to the people you’re facing. Don’t let nerves stop you—embrace and use them!

Act confident. The old saying goes, “Fake it until you make it”. When it comes to confidence, this is absolutely effective! If you tell yourself you’re confident and act as if you are, you’ll eventually start feeling that way. Think of it as a placebo effect: if you believe it will work, it often will, which in my opinion, isn’t really faking it at all. Even if your heart is pounding and your palms are sweating, make sure to act as if you feel totally confident. After a while, your brain will start to believe the process and you’ll have an easier time slipping into that confident role. Eventually, it won’t be a role, but you’ll genuinely feel that confident.

Make ‘em laugh. Singing in the Rain had the right of it. If you make your audience laugh, the tension will drain both from you and them. Laughter helps to lighten the mood and encourages relaxation, which will make you feel more at ease around people. Self-deprecating humor is a great way to connect with people and establishes a sort of trust. Use humor, jokes, and comedy to form a bond with the people around you and break down the icy walls of anxiety.

Be prepared to make mistakes. Did you know that a lot of stand-up comedians actually prepare jokes to use to mock themselves for messing up a joke? A mistake is only a mistake if you let it be. It can actually be a way to connect more with others; after all, it’s a sign you’re as human as they are, so it will form an immediate bond. If you’re ready for mistakes, they’ll be far less devastating when they inevitably happen.

Find the nodders. In the audience, there will often be people who nod along as you speak or people in the party who agree with what you’re talking about. Rather than focusing on people who disagree or seem disinterested, look for the people who nod along with you. Knowing that you’re connecting with them will help you feel more confident in what you’re saying. As your confidence grows, people will be sucked into what you’re saying, and more people will agree. It’s a cycle that could eventually get everyone in the room on your side.

Stand. Sitting is a passive, inactive pose, one that encourages motionlessness. However, when you stand, you are active, moving around, and more dynamic in mind and body both. It will also be more motivational .  If you’re feeling nervous or out of place, stand up or even move around. You’ll be in a position for action when the time comes!