EQ WORKOUT #74 How to Appear More Confident at Work


Confidence is an important part of leadership because it shows other people that you are competent and able to do the job. But many people struggle with confidence in the workplace and find it hard to project confidence.

The good news is that confidence can be learned! You just need to make it a conscious priority and develop techniques and strategies to increase your confidence at work.

10 Ways to Display Confidence at Work

Know your triggers:

Know your triggers

Everyone has triggers that make us feel fearful, anxious, or upset—and these can knock you off your feet and take away your confidence! So, start gaining self-awareness about what triggers you and how it impacts your confidence.

Visualize your response:

Visualize your response

Once you know your triggers, you can start visualizing a different response. For example, if you get anxious every time your boss calls you into their office, try reframing it and visualizing a new response. Try to see yourself smile, feel calm, and clearly communicate the next time your boss calls on you. This will help make it a reality!

Use eye contact:

Use eye contact

When we’re uncomfortable or lacking eye contact, we often don’t look someone directly in the eye. But eye contact is a sign of confidence, so try to be aware of how you are using it when discussing someone.

Consider your handshake:

Consider your handshake

Like eye contact, a strong handshake can portray confidence and leadership. So, take time to consider your handshake and work to improve it. A good handshake is vertical, strong, and with a dry hand. A handshake will contribute to the first impression you make on someone.



A smile is more than just a sign of warmth and happiness—it projects confidence! If you are at ease and comfortable, you’ll naturally smile and project easy confidence. So, pay attention to how you’re feeling and make sure you are projecting confidence through your smile.

Mind your posture:

Mind your posture

The more confidence you feel, the more space in the room you’ll take up. And this makes sense—if you’re fearful or anxious, you’ll naturally try to “hide” or minimize your presence by slouching, folding your arms, or closing off your body. But when you’re confident, you’ll sit up taller and have open body language. And it works both ways—assuming an open posture can help create confidence, too.

Dress for confidence:

Dress for confidence

It’s important to “dress for success,” which means dressing appropriately for the environment, but you should also dress for confidence! This means dressing in something that you like and makes you feel good in. It will help you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.

Increase the number of explanatory gestures: Everyone uses gestures when speaking to varying degrees. But research shows that explanatory gestures project confidence when you’re speaking. If possible, record yourself speaking to evaluate how you use gestures naturally in conversation. Then, when possible (and appropriate), increase those gestures when you speak to project confidence.

Avoid filler words:

Avoid filler words

“Ums” and “uhs” detract from your speech and make people question your confidence. It makes you sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about! The best way to use fewer filler words is by slowing down your speech and taking little breaks. If you’re going too fast, you can’t keep up with what you want to say and start throwing in filler words. So, speak slowly and deliberately and those filler words will go away.

Take your hands out of your pockets:

Take your hands out of your pockets

When your hands are hidden away, people might feel distrustful of you. It can be distracting, as people are wondering what you’re doing with your hands! So, have them visible and above the desk where you’re sitting.

Confidence can be learned.

Confidence can be learned

There are proven techniques to increase your confidence and project competence and leadership to those around you. It’s both an “inner” and “outer” process—what you do with your own self-awareness or thoughts as well as how you present externally through body language and gestures. So, take these 10 tips and practice, practice, practice! Your confidence will skyrocket and lead to more leadership opportunities and better workplace outcomes.