Did you know that by understanding a few facts about body language, and the way people communicate thoughts and feelings in their stance, posture, or sitting position, you can improve your communication, “read” people more effectively, and boost your own self-confidence at the same time! Body language makes up around 70% of communication. So almost ¾ of a person’s first impression of you comes from your body language, and that you give off 10,000 body cues in the first minute of interaction!
Body language communicates more about you than any words you say. The tiniest movement, like the way you stand or enter the room speaks volumes about your confidence, self-worth and credibility. When you’re feeling confident and positive, others around you are more positive and open to your influence and charisma.
How to be confident: the unspoken messages
There are extremely powerful unspoken signals that you can use in simple conversation, or to gain interest, attention, trust, and respect from the people that you meet… and of course, friends, colleagues or even your own customers. Understanding, and implementing these signals will also help you to feel confident too.
Proper Eye Contact. Good eye contact is essential. Be careful of looking away, looking shifty or bored, or staring into people’s eyes too intensely. If you feel uncomfortable about looking into a person’s eyes, look at the bridge of their nose.
Appropriate Smiling And Nodding. Be careful of smiling too widely – it betrays nerves and implies submissiveness. However, smiling is a universal sign of pleasure, to show that you are comfortable and happy to be here. Smiling releases "feel good" hormones into your body that alter your mood. Just a slight smile will often suffice. Nod occasionally to acknowledge another person’s interest and comments.
Posture. Have an upright carriage. Imagine a thread being pulled from the crown of your head upwards. You can feel your spine straighten and your ribs have more space to open. You can now breathe better. It gives an impression of confidence and self-respect.
First impressions. Many people make judgements on first impressions. You have between 7 and 15 seconds to make a first impression with a person or audience. How about cheering yourself on beforehand with encouraging self-talk, for example: "OK ...........(your name) you know you can do this, you’re ready for it. You're in charge. This is going to be fun." This will have a powerful effect on your body language.
Think positive. Can you remember the last time you felt really successful? Close your eyes and relive the event. Do it again, remembering the colours, the sounds, and the feelings. Let your senses go and really experience what you saw, heard and felt. When you do, you’ll start to really feel how it is to be successful. Let the picture and sounds fade but hang on to the feelings. You can use this trick every time to create a successful impression with your body language.
Think of someone you know who is successful. Look at how they stand, look at you, respond to you, move, behave and speak. Now stand in front of a mirror and stand as they stand, smile as they smile, walk as they walk. Enjoy how it feels to have supremely confident body language. Then put this into practice!