How to Project Confidence Four tips to help you appear confident and sell your ideas effectively.

By Nadia Goodman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Whether you're courting potential investors or presenting at a staff meeting, you need to project confidence. Your self-assurance shows others that you believe in your business ideas and helps you sell them effectively.

In some ways, how you present an idea matters more than the idea itself. "Emotional energy and nonverbals are more important than content," says Blake Eastman, a serial entrepreneur and founder of The Nonverbal Group, a Manhattan-based consulting firm that offers body language classes for business leaders. "Investors talk about investing in people, not investing in ideas."

Learning to appear confident is about becoming congruent, meaning that how you look and sound matches what you're saying. For example, if you're talking about your product's most exciting feature, your expression should be big, your voice energized, and your body engaged. Fidgeting and staring at the floor would look out of sync.

Related: How to Conquer Stage Fright and Focus on the Positive

"Congruency is the ability to truly believe in what you're saying," Eastman says. It's a matter of being fully engaged in your message -- emotionally and intellectually. That conviction can be hard to muster in a high stakes presentation, but you can learn to do it at will with simple awareness and practice.

Try these tips to help you look (and feel) more confident:

1. Watch yourself rehearse on video. Watching your performance is the easiest way to recognize room for improvement. "Video analysis shows you when you're not being fully congruent," Eastman says.

As you watch, look for moments that seem awkward or unconvincing. Notice if you break eye contact, and monitor the enthusiasm in your voice and body. Try to remember what you were thinking or feeling during the weaker moments -- addressing any doubts or anxieties will help you move past them.

2. Speak from memory. When you're presenting an idea, it's easy to lose your passion as you're plodding through the details. To appear confident, pull yourself away from power point slides or notes. "The pitch needs to come from emotion," Eastman says. "That's what's most effective -- when people just speak from the heart."

Imagine you're at a bar telling a friend what your company does and why it matters. "Show your conviction and belief in the product," Eastman says. That emotional energy appears more confident and inspires others to believe in what you're doing.

Related: 5 Foolproof Ways to Boost Your Public-Speaking Skills

3. Match your emotions and body language. "Movement is incredibly important," Eastman says, especially when it comes to convincing others of your confidence. Physical movements that match your message hold others' attention more effectively and seem much more convincing.

As you present, engage your face, hands, and body to help you communicate a point. If you are excited, you might walk around or make bigger gestures. Or, if you are explaining a problem, your brow might be furrowed and your voice darker. "There should be a shift as you're talking about different emotions," Eastman says.

4. Act without hesitation. When you talk with others, appearing decisive is especially important. "Confidence is really expressed in A to B movements," Eastman says, meaning confident people show no hesitation between the decision to act and the action. Doubt makes the movement less fluid and betrays a lack of confidence.

Practice acting in one fluid movement and catch yourself in moments of self-doubt or hesitation. Ask, what is the worst that could happen if I just do this? Or, what is it that makes me unsure? Answering those questions will help you overcome your reservations.

Related: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Public Speaking

Nadia Goodman is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY. She is a former editor at, where she wrote about the psychology of health and beauty. She earned a B.A. in English from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. Visit her website,

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


5 Ways to Network Your Way to Business Growth and Wealth

Mastering the art of networking will enhance your abilities and opportunities to create the business growth and wealth you desire.

Business News

I Tried 3 AI Headshot Generators and There Was a Clear Winner

Aragon AI, Momo, and FastShot AI all generate headshots using AI, but which one actually works for LinkedIn?


Enhance Your Website's Visibility and Dominate Your Competition With These Powerful Techniques

Mastering backlinks and content intent is key to ranking higher on search engines. Our guide can help you learn the right techniques and strategies for improving your backlinks and content quality.

Business News

Red Lobster Changed Its 'Endless Shrimp' Promotion After Losing $11 Million in One Quarter — Now It's Hauling Out Another All-You-Can-Eat Deal

The restaurant chain reported a record $12.5 million operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2023.


SMART Goals May Be Holding You Back — Try This Effective Goal-Setting Technique Instead

Everyone suggests SMART goals, but this framework is flawed. Learn why and how to create goals properly — ones that you can actually achieve.


3 Common Myths About Franchising That You Need to Stop Believing

Tackling three myths about franchising and making the argument for why companies should consider the franchising model to scale their businesses and why it can be an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to create economic and social value.