10 Ways Professional Women Can Project Self-Confidence

Often as women, our voices are interrupted or trampled over. Projecting self-confidence is a critical skill for every professional woman who wants to excel. Regardless of the smallest idea, your opinion and expertise are vital. Here are ten ways you can project self-confidence and develop your executive presence.

1. Body language

How you carry yourself can impact how others see you. If you have a teenager at home, you’ll be familiar with how they slouch, hunch over, or fidget. It’s easy to slip into old habits, but a little bit of conscious body posture can project a calm, professional appearance even if you’re super nervous on the inside.

2. Communication

The way someone communicates to others can also change how they perceive you. Stuttering your words or speaking softly can express your insecurity or nervousness. Even if you are not sure if your advice is right, you will still seem more professional speaking in a clear, even tone of voice. Also, do not be afraid to point out when you are overshadowed in meetings. Communicating the issue is one of the first steps to solving it. Here are some tips for communicating better in a remote or hybrid workspace.

3. Wardrobe

“Dress for the job you want,” goes the saying, and it’s true. As women, we have options to showcase our personal brand and professionalism. Defining who we are through our clothes may not be a skill that comes easy to everyone, so here are some ways to help you express executive presence.

4. Organized

One of the most common leadership skills is organization, which means more than just being on top of your daily tasks. If your desk is cluttered and overflowing, that may not give the impression that you have things under control. The same can be said of messy presentation designs or spreadsheets. You don’t have to become neat as a pin overnight but become aware of how virtual/physical spaces can project confidence.

5. Planning

All great leaders help have a plan of some sort. No matter if it’s on a large-scale project or fixing a small mistake, plans shape how organizations execute and succeed. Every plan won’t always go smoothly, and you might not have all the right information to make the best plan. Rely on your subject matter experts or other industry experts that can support you as you plan.

6. Kill Your Inner Critic

Everyone has an inner saboteur that creeps out from time to time. It’s often referred to as Imposter Syndrome. Yet, it is just your fears or voices from the past trying to convince you that you don’t belong or don’t deserve to be where you are. Ignoring those voices is critical for every woman to succeed and truly believe they belong. 

Here are eight affirmations that will help you instill self-confidence daily.

7. Honesty

One underrepresented skill for projecting confidence is honesty. People want to rely on those who know what they are doing but also those who openly admit when they don’t know something. It shows integrity and openness, two factors in confidence. Honesty also appears when leaders advocate for their team. You can’t always help them get that raise, promotion, or bonus. But, being honest about what the company can do for them and communicating your investment in them can be one the most influential factors for self-confidence.

8. Do it Afraid

We all know the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz still faced the journey shaking with fear. It’s completely normal to be nervous when advocating for yourself, your team, or your values. Showing confidence to others is all about doing them despite how afraid you are to do it. 

9. Advocating for Yourself

As women, especially BIPOC women, are still not paid as much as their male counterparts, advocating for yourself is a necessary skill. You may feel apprehensive for many reasons, including how others may label you bossy. But assertiveness does not mean you are pushing others out of the way. Instead, you speak up for your needs and ask for what you rightly deserve. 

10. Step Outside Your Box

Timidness is often associated with wanting to stay comfortable. Confidence is about stepping outside the box, trying new things, and being open to new ideas. It’s not always easy to step away from what you know, but it’s not always a leap of faith. In your day-to-day office life, stepping outside your box may be taking on a stretch opportunity, or trying a different procedure for better success. 

If you want to continue growing as a leader, you can do it with the support of industry-leading women around the world. No matter what field, the International Association of Women brings professionals together to share their tips on the trade and empower each other to reach new heights. Join our community today and find mentors, business resources, weekly webinars, networking events, and more!

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