Tricks of the Trade: Confidence

Male fencer, portraitConfidence is one of the most important attributes that anyone getting into public relations must have. It’s what makes you stand out, makes people believe what you have to say, and honestly, gives off the vibe that you are the one to beat. Not to sound cocky, or egotistical, okay maybe a little, but I have never not gotten a job after interviewing for it. Granted I’ve only interviewed at four places in my life, but I have never not gotten the job I interviewed for. I honestly believe it’s because I can sell myself because I’m confident.

From the way you walk to the way you talk on the phone, confidence just glows off of the confident folks and it shows in a lot of my colleagues who are successful. In PR, a shy person gets left behind in the dust, always riding on the coattails of others. If you’re shy and can’t make yourself stand out then go become a librarian so you can hide behind books all day. Our industry is cutthroat, especially now with the economy the way it is. At the end of the day there is always someone who is willing to step on you to get ahead (I’m one of those people –  just kidding, but maybe not).

So how do you learn to be confident? Unfortunately, Pfizer doesn’t make confidence in a pill form. The biggest tip that I can give about being confident…Fake it until you make it. Maybe a wise mentor told that to me once, but at the end of the day, completely right. Below are some of the tips that honestly really will help you “fake” confidence, and eventually you’ll just live that way.

1. Walk with your head high and powerful – No one should ever walk with their head down, not only for fear of bumping into someone, stepping in dog excrement, or getting hit by a car, but it really makes one look powerful. If you are outside, always wear sunglasses. People in sunglasses, even goofy big ones create mysteriousness which equals confidence (I wear mine at night too).

2. Smile – A happy person is a confident person – Even when times are bad, just smile and act like nothing phases you. If you show that nothing phases you, then you show that you can handle bad situations and keep on trucking. A smile also makes you look good, and a good looking person is a confident person, duh that’s why the girls in Sex and The City are so lucky.

3. Speak the ^*&k Up! – Regardless of the topic, if you have an idea speak up. No one likes someone who just sits in the corner and absorbs information without participating in the discussion. Speaking up says “Wow, this kid has ideas!” and people will think that there might be something more in that little noggin!

4. Push Back – No, not physically push someone back in the chest. Push back to your client, push back to your supervisor, if something is wrong or you don’t think it should be done a certain way, push them back and say something that is realistic. This will give you power and authority, ultimately resulting in coming off confident

Fake it or Make it. You decide.

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  • valeriesimon

    Excellent post CT. One of my favorite quotes is “Whether you think you are right or wrong, you are.” If you don't have confidence in your thoughts and value, why should anyone else? But we all sometimes have self doubts (well maybe not CT, but the rest of us!) And CT's advice on how to “fake it” is so important. I know that many people (especially young women I have met) fear that confidence will be mistaken for arrogance or other negative traits, but I think CT offers great recommendations on how to walk the line. I especially like number 2 🙂

  • There is a difference between confidence and arrogance, though. At a young age, I too, was arrogant and had never not gotten a job that I applied for. In my mid-40s, however, a few disappointments have tempered by bad-ass self and have allowed to figure out the difference between confidence and arrogance. I would say that while confidence is necessary, so is humility and a sense of knowing when to push and when not to. It's called maturity.

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  • Thanks for taking on this topic & clarifying the quote “Fake it until you make it.” The tips provided definitely makes confidence very authentic. Now if I can only work on tip #3 🙂