17 ways to appear more competent without saying a word

Competence is much more about what you do than what you say. 

Here’s how to ooze confidence and competence from every pore…

…All without saying a single word. 

1) Dress the part

First up if you want to be seen as competent is to look the part. 

If you work in a white-collar job, get some snazzy and dressy outfits. 

If you work in construction, buy some good overalls and work boots. 

There’s no need to go overboard on spending or have 100 suits lined up in your closet. Just a few nice outfits that fit your work and your life will do the trick.

How you look has a lot to do with people’s first impressions of you and how competent they judge you to be. 

2) Raise your fitness level

There are some competent people who are out of shape, but they generally have to prove their competence through words. 

If you want to have that impact right off the bat, then you should be fit. 

This means you should have a high fitness level, solid muscle structure, and a healthy all-around appearance.

This isn’t always easy, of course, but things which are worth it seldom come easy.

3) Get your gait right

The way you walk says so much to people about how competent you are. 

When you walk with halting steps and a hunched posture, people see you as insecure and probably not very competent. 

When you stride confidently like you know exactly what you’re doing, folks notice that and immediately perceive a higher level of can-do attributes in you.  

Practice your walk in the park or in your living room and keep at it until you feel you’re walking exactly the way you’d like to project yourself in the world.

4) Straighten your posture

Part of having a good gait and making an impression as a competent person is having an upright posture.

Make sure to throw your shoulders back and hold your head up. 

Improving your posture is possible and will just take some time and work with various exercises.

A slouching posture and hunched shoulders are increasingly common, especially these days with so many people working on computers. 

Having a good posture immediately makes you stand out!

5) Look people in the eye

If you want to appear competent, it’s also crucial to look people in the eye. 

Eye contact is a marker of trust and confidence from the animal kingdom all the way to human beings. 

When you meet someone’s gaze without blinking a lot or looking away you are demonstrating trustworthiness and belief in yourself. 

In short, you are demonstrating competence. 

6) Shake hands firmly

When you shake hands, maintain a firm grip. 

While looking the other person in the eye, shake for a few solid seconds and then relax your grip and disengage. 

You don’t have to go overboard here, but a firm and confident handshake will increase people’s perception that you mean business and are a competent, mature person.

A firm handshake is a sign of both competence and confidence, which is why business leaders and politicians put such a premium on how they shake hands. 

7) Do the arm touch

The arm touch is part of a solid handshake and involves doing an additional pat on the handshake recipient’s arm while shaking hands or immediately afterward. 

The arm touch can also be done apart from handshake times as a sign of goodwill and encouragement. 

It is an effective demonstration of solidarity when done to the forearm, upper arm, and shoulder in a friendly and supportive way.

8) Be well-groomed

Appearance also has a big impact on the perception of competence. 

Like it or not, how you look makes a large impression on how society sees your competence level. 

This means that in addition to dressing the part, you also want to do your best to be well-groomed

Find your ideal look and double down on it. Your competence factor will be increased. 

9) Eat with class

The way we eat says a lot about our maturity level and class

When you want to come across as competent, a very good starting point is to eat slowly and with calm.

You can still enjoy your food plenty, but eating calmly and cutting with a knife when necessary shows that you’re in firm control of yourself and respect your food. 

It also gives the impression that you’re an adult who takes him or herself seriously. 

In one word: competent.

10) Get things done

The best way to demonstrate competence is to get actual things done

It could be everything from cleaning dishes in the kitchen to changing a tire. 

It might be fixing a broken light or doing a great job at work on a new project that people are struggling with. 

Whichever context you’re in, it’s important to prioritize results and actually accomplishing what you set your mind to.

When you get the results, people see competence in action and they absolutely take notice. 

11) Know your way around computers

A big element of competence is knowing your way around computers. 

These days even people who don’t particularly enjoy or want to work on computers still have to often get things done on them including basics such as e-mail or understanding messages that pop-up. 

You don’t need to say anything, just give a thumbs up if they ask for help and see what you can do. 

Computer competence is in high demand! 

12) Be smart about smartphones 

Next up we get to smartphones, which are also everywhere these days. 

If you want to be seen as even more competent, learn your way around smartphones and how to fix and do things on them. 

Connecting up to Bluetooth for somebody might be easy, but there’s a lot more you can learn about smartphones that can come in useful at the least expected times. 

When you do something more complex in the advanced settings that they’d also wanted to know how to do, your competence rating goes way up! 

13) Lift heavy sh*t

If you lift heavy things you gain immediate points for competence. 

Again, ensure that you’re respecting your limits and not in any danger of injury. 

But when possible, try to pick up a few things whether that be shopping bags that your wife has trouble handling or an extra set of chairs you help stack after work is over at the cafe for the day. 

When you lift and exert your energy to help others, you show how competent you are and gain their respect and admiration. 

14) Open doors and be courteous

Common courtesy and treating others with respect go a long way in demonstrating competence. 

Even if this is something as simple as opening doors for the elderly or washing the car windows for your girlfriend when you stop for gas, these things get noticed. 

It’s not necessary to say anything, but just doing these small courteous things makes a real impression on the people around you.

15) Drive well

Being a good driver is an often underestimated skill. 

If you drive well, people will notice and appreciate that. 

Driving well and safely also increases your own feelings of self-confidence and competence as well. 

Be a good driver! You’ll come across more competent. 

16) Resist pain

Competence is also demonstrated by how you respond to pain. 

Do you complain and start trying to avoid whatever pain you’re experiencing, or do you do what’s necessary and tolerate a bit of pain to get the job done?

For example, if you’re working in landscaping and lifting heavy rocks, do you complain and stop when it hurts your knees or do you tough it out?

Obviously, you should never do something that could seriously injure you, but there is a certain amount of pushing through the pain that is admirable and demonstrates competence and maturity. 

17) Persist in the face of high odds

When people see you keep going in the face of high odds they see competence. 

Whether that’s persisting in your business that you started or not giving up on a relationship that’s gotten rough, your competence shines through. 

So many people choose to fold when times are tough. 

Being one of those who doesn’t give up and keeps the spark in your eye makes you stand out and come across as highly competent and in control of your life. 

Image vs. Reality

The above techniques will highlight competence without you having to say anything. 

At the deeper level, these methods will help you to align image and reality. 

In other words, it’s not just that you appear more competent, it’s that you’ll actually become more competent. 

By focusing on actions above words, you’re already switching into drive. 

Now it’s results time!

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