We’ve all been in that awkward situation, whether it be at school, at work, or even just with friends…someone asks a question or makes a comment that throws you off. You might become self-conscious because you aren’t sure how to respond. You might become nervous, especially if you’re in a job interview setting. You might even become confused because you’re left focusing on not knowing how to respond, rather than on the question or comment at hand.
The truth is that learning how to handle these situations with poise and confidence is an important life skill that will help you invaluably in the future. Below are five ways to convey confidence, even when you’re feeling totally lost.
- Be honest. Trying to make up a response to a challenging question will create anxiety, and make your audience doubt you. Being honest is the best way to go, and helps you to feel confident because you’re telling the undeniable truth. Next time you’re confused, simply say, “I’m not certain, to be honest, but I believe…”
- Offer a solution. If you’re not comfortable with offering up your opinions or thoughts, you can still feel confident and valued by always offering a solution. People will respect you more for saying, “I’m not sure, but let me confirm that and get back to you.” Then make a note of the question or comment, and do make sure you share a confirmed response afterward!
- Maintain posture. Not to sound like your mother here, but maintaining a confident posture goes a very long way in helping you to exude confidence. If you hunch over or fidget during meetings, you will look uncomfortable; however, if you sit up straight and hold focus on the discussion, you will appear fully engaged.
- Speak with authority. That public speaking course really did have merit. Minimizing the amount of “um,” “you know,” and “uhh” utterances during your dialogues and presentations will only help to keep your audience reassured that you know what you are talking about.
- Chin up. No matter how insecure or awkward you might feel, keep your chin up. Keeping your chin up is among the most powerful signs of confidence you can give with your body language.
Next time someone says something unexpected, keep these tips in mind to exude confidence…even if you’re not feeling completely confident, and leave a lasting impression.
Do you have any other quick tips for staying confident in a scary situation?