A few years ago, I was hanging out with some of my younger cousins and surprised the “country girls” by wearing a snazzy pair of zebra print purple heels. They asked me how I managed to walk in those shoes and I informed them that I “walk with authority.”
It’s amazing how a clothing change or a new pair of shoes can make you feel more confident. I wrote about success on the debate team being somewhat wrapped into my power shoes, but what are some other changes you can make in how you walk and move that can boost your confidence?
Carry Yourself Well
How you hold yourself plays a role in how you see yourself. So the first place to start in making changes to your body language is to hold yourself a little higher. To appear more confident, you need to act more confident.
- Posture is the most imperative part of carrying yourself. Put your shoulders back and keep your spine straight.
- Hold your chin up when you walk. Looking down at the ground while walking is an indicator of unhappiness.
- Make eye contact and smile to strangers. Not only is this a sign of confidence, but it also makes you feel better when you smile.
Movements Send A Message
Any movement you make can send a message. These messages can be positive or negative, so one of the most important body language changes you can make is to be aware of how you’re moving.
- Putting your hands on your hips is an indication of being mad or having lost patience. Even if you feel like you’re just in a resting position, the message sent is one of disapproval.
- Try not to make fidgeting gestures like shaking your legs or tapping your nails against the table. Not only will your nails create an annoying sound, but it indicates impatience.
Your Hands and Arms Serve as a Door
The movements made with arms in communicating tells a lot about the openness of a speaker. Those who cross their arms “close the door” to others feeling welcome to chime in or discuss.
- You can make gestures open by holding your hands apart with your palms pointing upward.
- Clasping or wringing your hands in front of you or touching your hair or face is a sign of anxiety or being unsure.
The good News – you can control your own body language. Remember you have complete control over the way you carry yourself which translates into the way you are perceived. How will you walk with authority today?
Looking for ways to improve your speaking abilities? Here are four more resources:
- Our Book on How to Make Meetings Great – Lessons from the Bored Room
- Our eBook on Webinars – How to Plan, Setup, and Execute a Successful Webinar
- Non-Verbal Communication Resource
- The Everything Guide to Public Speaking