What you say can actually mean absolutely nothing unless your body is conveying body language that reflects what is coming out of your mouth. According to the Thirty, “Your body language can convey a lot, and you don’t have to say anything. Others might be able to tell you’re nervous, angry, or confident through how you’re standing or sitting. It’s crazy to think that body language can reveal a lot about what a person is thinking or how they’re feeling, but for most of us, actions really do speak louder than words.” If you’re super passionate at a presentation for example, the room will not be able to read this message if your body is not reflecting the same message. Body language is what shows us if we’re open or receiving versus timid and shy.
We here at Sporteluxe have rounded up a few tools to use to show a little more pep in your step, using body language to show confidence. Keep reading for more!
According to the Thirty, you might want to be a little gentler if you love to use your hands. “Tone it down or make them a little subtler. Cobb says if you’re talking to just one person, you should keep your gestures within shoulder distance and to avoid making them too wide outside of your body. When you’re using your hands, they accentuate what you’re going to say. It’s almost like a nonverbal highlighter. But you want to be in control of those movements. You just don’t want to have your hand just making a lot of circles. Some people, get really excited, animated, and their hands do go wild.”
According to Prezi Blog, “posture is essential for portraying yourself as a more confident person. When you sit, try to keep your back straight with your back against the chair and your feet firmly planted on the floor. Your knees should be naturally bent at a right angle. If delivering a presentation from a standing position, make sure your shoulders are back and your chin is raised. When you slouch, you may come across as lazy or aloof. If you sit on the edge of the chair, you may seem overly tense or anxious.”
Honestly, we know this one is tough. Most people are very nervous, especially in a workplace setting. According to the Thirty, “Eye contact lets someone know you’re interested. When you break eye contact, the other person might think you aren’t telling the truth, leaving something out, or that you’re not feeling comfortable talking about something or speaking to them.” Their experts suggest focusing on one part of a person’s face.
Your body language should always be open and engaging. People should want to interact with you, feel comfortable doing so, and feel that you are engaging back with them during a conversation or presentation. Being engaging includes not only open body language but also smiling, nodding, and mimicking another’s expressions or movements so they can feel that you are on the same emotional level. It can also include rising and sitting with them and coming in close for a handshake when it comes time to close the deal or finish the conversation. These are Prezi Blog’s recs.
A strong, firm handshake can signal so many things. Confidence is one of them for sure. Think about how many times a flimsy one has made you feel. A strong handshake says in your memory and signals power.
For us, a smile is everything. It has to be perfect. “Smiling helps to create a sense of trust while keeping you relaxed and lowering your stress levels. It not only slows your heart rate but also releases endorphins that can counteract the stress hormones released in your body. Smiling can also be beneficial during an interview or when delivering a presentation because it will help relax other people in the room and put them at ease.”, this is according to Prezi Blog.
Why, you ask? According to the Thirty, “Having your palms up and out when you’re talking is great. But you have to be careful that you don’t become robotic and you’re talking the whole time with your palms up because that gets a little awkward. There has to be some ebb and flow and some naturalness to it.” Putting your palm down can seem off-putting, unfortunately. It can make the person you’re having a conversation with feel like you are trying to quiet them down.
While you’re here, check out this article on our favorite influencers and the body positivity movement (our founder is on it!).