“A picture paints a thousand words”

Imagine approaching a prospective client or walking into a business meeting.

How do you look? What do you communicate the moment you walk into a room?

What can others see about you before you ever say a word?

55% of the message we send out comes from our body language –‘signals’ that people will pick up on.

With practice, we can learn simple techniques to show confidence through our body language.

Use these 5 Tips to appear more confident, capable and ready:

1. Avoid pockets

A simple, but important one. Keep your hands out of your pockets!

When we put our hands in our pockets we suggest that we’re uncomfortable or unsure of ourselves. And as long as you have your hands stuffed inside your trouser or jacket pockets, that’s how other people will view you.

Instinctively we tend to hide our hands when we’re nervous; keeping your hands out in the open indicates confidence and shows people you have nothing to hide.

Also, recognise that putting your hands in your pockets encourages slouching, which isn’t good either. As an alternative, try putting your hands on your hips; it’s a far more confident posture.

2. Don't fidget

Fidgeting is a clear and visible sign of nervousness.

A person who just can’t keep still, is a person who looks worried, tense and certainly not confident. Your hands can be your worst enemies – fight to keep them still and steady.

You can definitely talk with your hands, but keep your gesticulations calm and under control.

Also, when seated, avoid that rapid leg-vibration thing that some guys do (you don’t want to look like a dog getting his belly rubbed!).

3. Eyes forward

Keeping your eyes level might be one of the trickiest ways to show confidence in your body language.

When you’re walking anywhere by yourself, it often feels natural to lower your head slightly and watch your step, however this posture communicates to others that you don’t want to engage in conversation or interact. And if you’re not careful, you might get into the habit of doing it all the time.

For a confident look, keep your chin up and your eyes facing forward, even when you’re walking down the street by yourself.

4. Stand up straight, shoulders back

Standing up straight is perhaps the most important means of communicating your confidence to others. Concentrate on pushing your shoulders back slightly when standing and walking.

Nothing major needed here, just a little adjustment. This one simple motion does wonders for your posture.

Go find a mirror right now and try it out – you’ll be surprised how these simple things make you instantly appear more confident.

Sounds easy, but you may need to be persistent in applying this tip so it becomes your normal posture – over the years, many people have learnt to become ‘slouchers’ – and will need to unlearn this habit first!

5. Take larger steps

A confident person will never be described as ‘scurrying’ or ‘creeping’ or ‘shuffling’ – so pay close attention to the way you walk.

To show confidence through your body language, then take larger steps.

Taking wider steps gives out the impression that you are purposeful, focused and ‘know where you’re going’ which denotes your confidence, and this is especially so in men.

If you do take short steps, then start now by extending your step range by 20% and others will notice the difference.

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