If you’re not sure about your own message, idea or plan, how can you expect others to get on board with it too? If you’re presenting at a meeting, for instance, remember to sound like you know what you’re talking about.
Project confidence using a strong, firm voice and positive, commanding body language (so no hunched shoulders!) – stand tall, with your shoulders back, head slightly lifted, and your gaze fixed on others in the room. If you have photos, charts or props to back up your idea, remember to use them with confidence too.
Put Others At Ease
Confidence is not the same as cockiness or arrogance. People are more likely to agree with you if they can see that you’re not trying to force your ideas down their throats. So always be pleasant and positive, not aggressive.
Smile a lot and project a friendly, warm vibe. Most of us tend to agree with people we like, and aggressive people are often not well liked.
Listen To Others
People respect a good listener. If you do meet with resistance during a presentation, don’t dismiss it or act like the other person’s idea or suggestion is inferior to yours. Instead, stop talking and listen to what they have to say. Being curious about what others think is a tried-and-tested way to win them over.
When people feel that you’re considering their opinion, they’re less likely to resist yours. It doesn’t hurt to agree with them, either. Saying something like “You’ve definitely got a point, that’s why I wanted to share my thoughts with you” will help get them on your side.
As you listen to ideas, questions or solutions from your bosses and workmates, remember to keep an open mind. You should always start from this position when trying to sell an idea.
Stubbornly sticking to your idea puts others off – if they can see that you’re willing to change your mind or are at least open to compromise or negotiation, then they will be, too.
When presenting your case, let everyone know that you’re all in it together. Making them feel that everyone’s part of the same team, rather than separate from you, makes them more likely to agree with you. Words like “we can”, “let’s do this”, “every one of us should” and “we’ll get this done together” are very persuasive.
Text: Sasha Gonzales/Herworld