Body Language: Exuding Confidence
In a room full of people, it's always beneficial to have the upper-hand. You get to control your response and other people's response to you, charm them and make you believe whatever you say, and practically trust you with their lives.
Some use this to take advantage of people in a negative context, but today, I want to show you how you can use these tips positively, whether during a deal meet, a lunch date, or at an office setup.
What are Non-Verbals?
Non-verbal communication includes pitch, speed, tone and volume of voice, gestures and facial expressions, body posture, stance, and proximity to the listener, eye movements and contact, and dress and appearance.
In simple terms, it's how you present yourself to other people without having to say anything. It's the art of showing power/authority or intent to others using your physical features.
Here are some non-verbals which may be useful to you (if done right):
Be aware of your hands.
What you do with your hands during a situation says a lot about your confidence. An example would be keeping your palms facing down from behind a desk, which shows a high level of personal confidence. To not look too overbearing, show your palms once in a while.
Psychology tells us that exposing the palms speak of a character that is quite subordinate or lacking authority compared to someone who keeps their palms downwards. This is said to signal confidence and certainty in one's self.
Get in their 'space'.
It's not about making the other person feel uncomfortable - rather, it's making them feel you're approachable and willing to step forward. By meeting others in their space, you're telling them, "I'm present, I'm currently acting in-the-moment". Shake their hand and step forward. Don't wait for it to happen the other way around. Doing this will show your control of the situation.
Stay still, physically.
If you want to exude confidence, stand your ground and keep still. Obviously, people who are frantic or nervous can be hyperactive or fidgety. Nothing shows courage and assurance by being physically calm.
A lot of us move our heads around when we speak, but if the head is still or moved slowly, that person speaking exudes an air of authority, seriousness, and confidence. If one constantly looks around with a darting eye or have quick head movements, it indicates that one is under threat or is of a lesser status or rank.
Have good body posture.
Sometimes, being the most powerful person in the room requires more than looking good in a suit or dress. Often, it's about how you hold yourself - quite literally. To be confident, stand stall and don't slouch, look at the people you're speaking to in the eye, and keep your hands relaxed. Fidgeting with you hair or your clothes can make you look bored or insecure, which we don't want.
There are heaps more non-verbals you can look into, but the ones I mentioned will help you get started. I do seminars/workshops on Body Language, so if you're interested in scheduling a session with me for you or for your team, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Let me know if you need more series like this on self-improvement, and what topics you'd like me to cover. I'd be more than happy to oblige.