Your body language says a lot about you. If I see you walking with your head held high, chest out and eyes forward then I will think that you are a confident person (or feeling confident in that moment of time).
If I see you walking with your head down, hands in your pocket and eyes focused on the ground then I will have no option but to assume that you are not very confident. It might be an unfair way to judge a person but this just goes to show how important it is to improve your body language.
The great thing about body language is that you can fake it and no one will be any the wiser. After practising these tips for a while, you will find that you start do them naturally.
Note: Check out The Definitive Book of Body Language. It is very useful when it comes up improving your body language.
The first step in improving your body language is to become aware of your actions. If you are not aware, you will not know what can be improved upon.
Pay attention to everything you do, when you do it and why you do it. For example, you might not notice that you scratch your neck when talking about a topic you are uncomfortable with. This is why knowing what your actions are is half the battle.
2. Look Directly at Others
When walking pass strangers and co-workers or even when introduced to someone new, are you able to hold eye contact?
Your eyes are one of the most biggest indicators of self confidence. Looking others directly in the eye will show them that you are comfortable in your own skin and not easily intimidated.
If you have trouble looking someone in the eye, focus on the point between their eyebrows, they will never know the difference.
Remember not to stare either, the last thing you want to do is come across as creepy.
3. Hold Your Head up High
Hold your head up high, not so high that you are looking at the sky, but rather high enough to look straight ahead.
People who walk with their heads down don’t want others to look at them, as if they have something to hide. I’m sure you have nothing to hide, so hold your head up high.
4. Take up Some Space
You might think that it is rude to take up space, but it really isn’t. It shows that you are comfortable in your own skin. Standing or sitting with your legs apart is what confident people do, so start doing it.
5. Don’t Cross Your Arms or Legs
Crossing your arms or legs indicates that you are defensive or negative. No one will want to talk to you because you are giving off the impression that you are in a bad mood and don’t want to be disturbed.
Keep your arms down and feet planted firmly on the ground and notice how people start to respond to you more positively.
6. Nod Your Head
When you are having a conversation with someone, remember to nod your head in acknowledgement. This will show that you are listening and are interested in what the other person has to say.
Don’t overdo it though, you don’t want to come across as Woody the Woodpecker.
Smiling in conversation or having a slight smirk when walking shows that you a happy, positive person. You will become more approachable and others will be more inclined to listen to you.
8. Slow Down
Confident people never seem to be in a rush. Everything is perfect just the way it is, they are at ease with the world and with themselves.
When walking, slow down, it will make you appear more confident and calm. When someone calls your name, don’t snap your head towards them, slowly turn your head in their direction instead.
9. Master the Art of Leaning
Leaning in shows that you are interested in what the other person has to say. However, leaning in too much demonstrates that you are needy and want the other person’s approval.
Leaning back tells others that you are relaxed and confident in yourself. However, leaning back too much might make you come across as arrogant and distant.
It might sound hard to get it right. It isn’t. See how others respond to you when leaning and then adjust accordingly to master the art of leaning.
10. Don’t Fidget
You will come across as nervous if you start to fidget when talking to someone. Playing with your earring, bottle cap, touching your face etc are all signs of discomfort. Fidgeting also has a habit of distracting the person you are talking to.
Instead of using your hands to fidget, use them to communicate more expressively and effectively.
11. Firm Handshake
No one likes to be on the receiving end of the wet fish handshake. When the time comes to shake someone’s hand, a good firm handshake and a smile will ensure you make a good first impression.
12. Mirror Other People
Like most things in life, you make the most progress when learning from someone who is already an expert. Pick someone you admire. Notice how they hold themselves. Can you learn anything from them?
My favourite person to mirror is James Dean. I have never seen another person who appeared as confident as James Dean. Watch his performance in Rebel Without a Cause. It is the perfect film to learn from.
Article by Nick Shepherd
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