I remember my first time conducting an interview on camera. I was on assignment, interviewing “The Sopranos” star William DeMeo at a dimly lit pizzeria for a live segment in the local NYC area. I don’t know what I was most nervous for – my first time interviewing, my first time interviewing on TV, or my first time interviewing on LIVE TV!
Well, whatever it was, I was so anxious I wanted to vomit! Despite researching for days, I don’t remember a single thing that came out of my mouth. I couldn’t form a complete sentence to save my life… I might as well have been speaking gibberish the whole time!
I knew the interview was an epic fail. I was so disappointed in myself that after the interview wrapped, I couldn’t even look at William or my producer in the eye before grabbing my coat and dashing out the door. Please get me out of there – ASAP!
My nerves got the best of me that day and I thought my hosting career was over before it even began. It wasn’t until months later that I had the courage to crawl out of the rock to try again.
They say it’s hard to be confident on camera but I think it’s even more challenging to be confident in real life. Every single one of us need to have confidence in all aspects of our lives – work, friends, family, and more.
Throughout the past 10 years, I was thrown into some extremely intimidating situations where I had to really try to challenge myself to be more confident.
Below are my top 5 tips to appear to be more confident, even if you’re walking into a room where you feel like everyone is smarter than you:
1) Leave Daily Affirmation Notes Everywhere: Hey, those cheesy positive reinforcement notes work! If you believe that you are what you think, then you better start focusing on awesome things about yourself! Pick a few things you really love about yourself, write them on sticky notes, then stick them everywhere you can see first thing in the morning. I have notes on my bathroom mirror, glam station, closet, and more. The more you physically see and read the positive affirmations, the more you’re reminding yourself of exactly what you love the most about who you are.
2) Take Care of Yourself: Groom yourself, brush your hair, put on your makeup… take those extra few minutes in the morning to put yourself together! There’s a direct correlation between your inner confidence and your outer appearance. Don’t get me wrong – we all have days when we want to allow ourselves to feel sluggish and lazy. But four of those days in a roll? Honey, that’s allowing yourself to get stuck in a funk. When you take pride in the way you look, you are owning who you are and that positive energy is contagious!
3) Project Positive Posture: Your posture speaks volumes of your confidence level! When you walk into a room, people will notice your posture first even before you open your mouth. Are you standing tall with your shoulders back, head high? Or are you slouching with shifty eyes, darting around? “Power poses” that consist of confident stance and tall, uplifted posture, will subconsciously affect your decision-making skills.
4) Voice: Now this is a big one. As a TV host, I spent years training my voice to sound pleasant and trustworthy. Record yourself speaking to listen to your tone, cadence, volume, and whether you use any filler words or vocal tics repeatedly. Do you have a natural tendency to speak at a higher pitch? Talk in vocal fry? Or do you use too many “like”, “um”, “ah”? I had a bad habit of starting out every sentence with “To be honest”… I had to cut that out real quick! Not only is it super annoying, but it pretty much suggests that everything I’ve been saying is dishonest.
5) Play to Your Strength: Every single one of us is an expert in some type of a field. Even if you walk into a board room with all the top Fortune 500 CEOs of the world, I bet you anything that there is a topic where you hold more knowledge over than all of them combined. Focus on your areas of expertise and keep a “success diary” if you have to to help you reflect on your achievements in your life and career. Every time you doubt yourself, flip through the book to recall the feeling of certainty and power.