Confident Body Language
by Ed Yourdon
Picture this if you will:
You’re participating in an exercise where the trainer asks you to stand up, tilt your head slightly forward, put on a sad face, roll your shoulders inward, and point your toes toward each other. How would you feel? Probably not very comfortable.
The trainer then asks you to speak for a moment. I bet it’s difficult to be heard. Why? Because your body is closed and shriveled up like a prune making it harder to project your voice, your essence, and your being. You sound wimpy and your audience will probably perceive you as a milquetoast.
Here’s an interesting observation…
Studies have shown that as little as 7% of what you communicate is done verbally – while your body language and vocal tone account for the other 93%. Which is why confident body language is a must and, I dare say, a prerequisite if you want to attract success in this adventure called life.
Now picture this scenario:
People are hovering around after an event waiting for an opportunity to join you in the moment.
Colleagues are passing your name around wanting to add you as a friend in their social network. You are greeted with warm smiles and hugs during your daily routine. And even your cat likes you.
That’s a nice feeling.
But that wasn’t always the case for me… and it may not be for you. I’ve struggled with shyness most of my life. The last thing I wanted was undue attention.
I knew I had to make some changes if I wanted any kind of sustained success. It all began with changing beliefs for me. And then communicating better.
But that wasn’t enough…
I found that to be believable when communicating required more.
I had to appear believable in people’s eyes. That’s when I discovered the importance of projecting confidence through body language.
You could be a fluid and dynamic communicator, but your body language can actually negate or erase your sincerity and credibility if you’re not displaying confidence. How do I know this? I’ve viewed videos of myself giving presentations in those early days. Believe me, they are painful to watch.
Here are three keys that will help you project confidence:
1) Sustained eye contact. Give off a neutral gaze. No staring please. The secret of showing confidence is not being the first one to look away. Practice this and you’ll be amazed with the results you get. Especially with the opposite gender.
2) Posture perfect. Good posture silently communicates confidence. That means no slouching. My mom always told me to sit up straight. I tried but couldn’t until I learned how.
Typically good posture means head held high, arms beside your body, shoulders back, chest open, equal weight on both feet, with hips, knees and ankles in alignment.
When sitting, take up more space. Open up your body. Keep your legs and arms uncrossed. Avoid leaning forward. Leaning back makes you appear confident, comfortable and in control.
3) Hey buddy… reduce your speed. Think about slowing down your body movements and gestures. Even your words. There’s something mysterious, alluring and even sexy when you make slower, calculated movements.
A good person to model if you’re a guy is James Bond. He doesn’t rush things. He’s always in control. He rarely smiles, yet he’s the embodiment of masculine confidence.
Of course, for the ladies I’d have to say Angelina Jolie is the perfect role model for this. She always seems to know what to do in any situation. Her appeal and seductiveness manifests from her smooth and slow body movements.
These three keys to confident body language should be practiced often. Stand in front of the mirror to visualize the look and feel of a confident new you. In time your muscles will memorize their positions and people will be drawn to your confidence.
Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy’s Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at www.TommyYan.com.
If you’re a speaker, trainer, coach, or a consultant?the major challenge you face is connecting with your audience. You talk, shout, or recite your message while they are dreaming about dinner.
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