Body language tips for projecting confidence
When you first meet someone, whether it be for a job interview, meeting or being introduced to someone new, you want to appear confident and project positivity. Body language can be your key to greater success in developing professional relationships, projecting confidence and adding credibility to what you are saying. Here are some tips to help fine tune your body language:
Stand tall with good posture
Power and confidence are non-verbally displayed through your use of height and space. Keep you posture strong with shoulders back and your head held high. Standing with good posture will make you look more powerful and assured to those who are seated. If you are sitting, you can look more confident by putting both feet flat on the floor, widening your arms from your body.
Lower your vocal pitch
The quality of your voice is a deciding factor in how you are perceived, especially in the workplace. Speakers with high-pitched voices are judged to be less empathetic, less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices.
Visualise your confidence
To display confidence and be perceived as upbeat and positive, think of a past success that fills you with pride (this doesn’t have to be taken from your professional career – it can be from any time in your life). Recall the feeling of power and certainty, imagine how you looked and sounded. Recalling that genuine emotion from the past will help you embody it in the present.
Maintain positive eye contact
The ability to maintain eye contact is another indicator of confidence. Here is a great tip for maintaining eye contact – whenever you greet someone, look into his or her eyes long enough to notice what colour they are. Optimum eye contact for professional introductions is 50-60% of the time, so don’t stare too intently to ensure you hit the right balance!
Talk with your hands
Gestures are linked to speech, and when used correctly can actually help power your on-the-spot thinking. They can help you form clearer thoughts and speak in tighter sentences with more powerful language. If you also keep your gestures open by showing the palms of your hands, you instantly add more credibility. Individuals with open gestures are perceived more positively and are more persuasive than those with closed gestures.
Smiling has a powerful effect on us. Smiling will show that you are relaxed, confident and are a generally pleasant person. The human brain prefers happy faces and not only stimulates your own sense of well being but it also tells those around you that you are approachable and trustworthy.
Having the right handshake can give you instant credibility. Make sure you’re not a dead fish or a bone-crusher in a handshake! Either one is a no-go. Practice to make sure you strike the right balance before an important meeting.
If you are interested in broadening your knowledge of interpersonal relationships and projecting confidence, enrol in our professional development online course, Assertiveness & Personal Confidence.