Confident Body Language
When you move confidently and carry your body confidently, you not only feel more confident but others assume that you are.
You may be surprised to learn that only 7% of the information you transmit to others is in the language you use. The remainder comes from:
- 38% How you speak - quality of voice, accent, voice projection, emphasis, expression, pace, volume, pitch etc.
- 55% Body language - posture, position, eye contact, facial expression, head and body movements, gestures, touch etc.
Whereas people often try to disguise their true feelings in their utterances, they communicate them freely through their non-verbals. When your body language tells a different story from your spoken words, guess which is believed? The answer is, your body language. It imparts eight times as much information.
- Stand in front of a mirror. Hold your head up, back straight, shoulders back, looking straight ahead. Try to make yourself look bigger, as if you're taking up more space - good posture automatically takes up more space. Now walk briskly and confidently around the room. How do you feel? A proud, upright stance makes you look more important, even if you're not especially tall. It makes you look younger and slimmer too.
- Hand and arm movements are very expressive. Learn to use your hands for emphasis, and keep hand movements smooth and flowing. Avoid:
- Folding your arms or wrapping them around yourself (like a cuddle). This indicates a closed, defensive attitude and makes you appear unapproachable.
- Placing your hands in your pockets.
- T apping on surfaces such as tables and desks with your fingers or on the back of your other hand.
- Fidgeting, scratching, wringing your hands (which shows tension).
- Touching your face or neck. This reveals discomfort or embarrassment.
- Become aware of all your mannerisms and gestures. If possible video yourself, watch carefully and make adjustments.
- Eyes are very expressive.
- Lively, sparkling eyes are attractive. They say, 'Talk to me, I'm approachable.'
- Looking away shows disinterest or deviousness.
- Looking down conveys submission.
- Confident people make more frequent eye contact than people who are unsure of themselves, so develop a steady gaze. When you enter a room move around comfortably, smile and make gentle eye contact with everyone; not too much, not too little.
- Your breathing is very important too. You can calm down instantly and become less tense and anxious by taking your attention to the breath, slowing and deepening it. Practise calming the breath. Slow breaths and a steady gaze, combined with an anchor such as 'Cool, calm and relaxed', can combat nervousness any time, wherever you are and whoever you're with.
- Make better use of your personal space. Try to make yourself bigger. The more room you appear to occupy, the more confident and important you appear. But moving too close to others is unsettling, so don't get too near.