Are you confident enough to consult?

Working in consulting requires a certain degree of confidence. After all, if you’re not confident in your abilities, you’ll have a hard time persuading clients that you know your stuff.

But what if you’re not a particularly confident person? What can you do to become more confident?

Tips for increasing your confidence

  • Prepare. Remember the Boy Scout motto, "be prepared"? Well, if you’re ready to do your work, meet with a client or hand in a report, you’ll come across as a more confident.
  • Dress for success. Putting on professional clothing can make you feel more successful. It’s like a uniform.
  • Stand up tall. Good posture makes you seem confident.
  • Make eye contact. When you look people in the eyes — in Western culture — you convey trust, ability and confidence.
  • Get rid of your expert complex. Remember, an expert is just someone who knows more than their audience — or, in a pinch, someone who has time to do a job when the client can’t. You don’t have to be perfect. As Woody Allen once said, "80% of success is just showing up."

How do you improve your confidence?