3 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Confidence

Inner critic. Imposter syndrome. Crippling self-doubt. That little (or big) voice is a monster – sneaking up when you might least suspect it. And when it’s there, it seems to latch on during the most inappropriate times. Then you get there for your meeting/presentation/interview/date and you are nowhere near the bright and sparkly star you know you are. Whatever it is, it bombs and you have a bad experience and never want to repeat it again.

So aside from a basic lobotomy, or long-term therapy (friends, licensed psychologist or self-help mechanisms) how do we quiet the voice when we have something that we REALLY want to go well?

I’ve been teaching communication skills through improv to non-actors for about 5 years now under my company, The Engaging Educator. I’ve seen a web designer post-breakup, a magazine editor post divorce, a corporate CEO post mid-life crisis, all looking for that magic sauce to help them get past that voice.

And you know what?

There are ways to shut that voice down, even if it’s for a short amount of time while you work on the bigger picture. Here are three tips we teach our students to boost their confidence:

1. Smile. Look, we’ve all been told to smile because ‘you look so pretty’ and this isn’t another one of those situations. I love telling people to smile for a few reasons: first, it brightens up your vocal cadence. Second, we get the energy we put out. If you walk into a room and you look anxious and terrified, the room is going to feel anxious and terrified FOR YOU. If you fake it until you make it, you’ll get by until you’ve made it there.

2. Power-Pose. We love Amy Cuddy. Love her. And we love Power Posing – ever tried it? Before a stressful situation – or just in the morning before a long day – either put your hands on your hips or up in the air for 90 seconds. You’ll feel as awesome as Wonder Woman when you use this as a quick confidence trick.

3. Say Yes, And. Professional and social situations can go south, and fast, if you aren’t listening well and responding in a manner that shows your best self. Try to use a little more ‘Yes, And’ instead of ‘But’ in your conversations. The idea is not to become a Yes Person – aka doormat – it’s to affirm and elevate others. If someone is complaining about the weather and you love it, you could say, ‘Yes, and think of all the adventures we get because it’s not snowing!’ instead of ‘But don’t you just love summer? It’s the greatest!’ That ‘But’ not only creates a confrontation, it also elevates one opinion over another. If you add a little more ‘Yes, And’ to your next conversation, you’ll see them start to list, because you’re listening to them!

Any quick confidence tips to get your day started? Let us know, and let’s all be those supernovas we were made to be.


Jen Brown (Oleniczak) is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Engaging Educator. Through EE, her pedagogical approach of Improv as Continuing Education has reached over 25,000 people – all non-actors! Since 2012, Jen has given three TEDx Talks on the power of Improv, grown EE to three locations in NYC, Winston-Salem, NC, and LA, and recently began The Engaging Educator Foundation, a 501(c)(3) which offers free and low-cost Improv workshops for educators, at-risk adults, teens and students on the Autism Spectrum. Jen holds degrees and accreditation from Marquette University, City College of New York, St. Joseph’s University, and Second City. Currently, Jen happily resides in Winston-Salem with her husband, who she met while teaching an improv class – and no, he wasn’t the best person in the class, in fact, he was the worst.

Connect with Jen: Twitter | YouTube





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