How to Demonstrate Authority in Any Setting.
Self-confidence. If you think you either have it or you don’t, you would be wrong. Even if you don’t have much faith in yourself, how to demonstrate authority in any setting can be learned.
This first step might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised what a shower will do in how you feel about yourself. When you don’t look your best, you don’t feel your best. A refreshing shower will pick you up and get you ready to face the world.
Dress for Success
Pick out an outfit you feel good in. Whether the setting is formal or casual, clothing can boost the way you feel about yourself and give you confidence. Don’t just focus on style but on comfort as well.
If you’re going to demonstrate authority, you must take control of the way you think. If you start off thinking ‘I won’t be able to do this’ or ‘This is not going to work’, chances are that it won’t. On the other hand, you think ‘I can, I will and I shall’ you’re mentally training yourself for success.
If a project doesn’t work out the first time, don’t be discouraged. Take comfort in the saying that Paris and Rome weren’t built in one day either. Gaining personal confidence might take time.
Before an interview or business meeting, research the organization and how to get there. Once you know something about the business you’ll feel more relaxed and automatically feel more in control.
Demonstrating authority is often directly related to the way you speak. Rushing your speech is a sure sign of nervousness, as is speaking too softly or too loud. Whether you speak to one person or a group, pay attention to the volume and the rhythm of your words. By speaking slowly and clearly, your audience will also find it easier to absorb the information. If you know public speaking is a problem for you, rehearse in front of a mirror or with a friend.
If you’re going to demonstrate power another thing to pay attention to is your posture. Whether you sit or stand, don’t slouch. Stand tall and put your shoulders back. To be sure you have the right posture, imagine touching the ceiling with your head and a robe pulling on your back.
You’d be surprised how much your handshake tells about your personality. When you shake someone’s hand, don’t let your hand lie there like a dead fish. There’s no need to squeeze the living daylights out of someone’s hand, but there is a fine line between squeezing too hard and giving a firm handshake. Before the handshake, try not to ball your hands into fists as this might make them sweaty. If you think your palms show signs of perspiration, wipe them.
If you’re been invited to a business meeting and you have to give a speech, empower yourself with knowledge. The more you know about a subject, the more confident you’ll come across. Give your audience the chance to ask questions though. How would you feel if the speaker was droning on and on about a particular subject? Chances are you would get bored. By giving your audience a chance to ask questions on the other hand you demonstrate expertise. You are comfortable enough to engage with them. If you don’t know the answer to a question, feel free to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘Can I get back to you on that one?’
An equal powerful tool in demonstrating your ability is your smile. People who feel good about themselves don’t sit or stand there like their best friend just died. While there’s no need to smile all the time – as this would look rather silly – smiling at the person or people you’re addressing is a sign of experience. You show them that you’re in control, that you know what you’re talking about.
When you stop focusing on your negative traits and start focusing the positives, your personal confidence will automatically grow. When setting goals, personal or professionally, don’t shoot for the moon. Have realistic expectations. Start with small goals and as you achieve small successes you will be ready for bigger ideas and events. And remember, nobody’s perfect.
Jack Purdie @ImJackPurdie lives in Southampton and is on a slow but steady mission to try and find a way to share some of the random, and sometimes interesting, thoughts that go through his head.
Working heavily in the event industry, but also behind a health and nutrition startup, Jack is known to always be up to something, with many projects bubbling away.