Pay Attention to Your Body Language
Opinions are often formed about people before a word has left their mouth, meaning your appearance and body language has a significant impact on how you are initially perceived when meeting and interacting with others. Sitting and standing with confidence is imperative for coming across as self-assured. Standing as tall as possible, pulling your shoulder blades down and back, and lifting your chin to look straight ahead are essential tactics for minimising slouching and portraying an aura of authority.
This can take some practice for those who have become accustomed to poor posture. For this reason, paying closer attention to your body language throughout the day, as well as teaching yourself to keep your body aligned, will increase your chances of giving off the appropriate impression. Given enough time and practice, eventually good posture will become second nature.
Monitoring Your Speech
A large amount of people find public speaking terrifying, yet some appear to handle this ordeal better than others. Faster speech, accompanied with a higher pitch, is an obvious indication of nerves and a lack of self-confidence. Increased pace of speaking often leads to mistakes in enunciation and thoughtless comments, so it’s useful to remember the importance of taking deep breaths and talking slower than you think you need to. This ensures that your audience has time to comprehend what you’re saying, and minimizes the risk of any critical errors from occurring during your speech.
Use Gestures to Your Advantage
Another valuable body language technique is the art of gesticulation. Using your hands and arms to enhance your verbal statements is not only a great way to emphasise meaning, but research has shown that it increases perceptions of confidence and authority. Learning to work hand gestures into everyday speech can increase the impact of your words, boosting your verbal communication abilities as well as perceived confidence. Remember to keep your movements appropriate, however, as over-gesticulation can appear erratic and out of control.
Maintaining Eye Contact
A well-known method of conveying confidence is being able to hold the gaze of another person- though admittedly, this can come across as rather disconcerting at first. Staring into someone’s eyes may initially feel confrontational or intimate. For this reason, you may attempt looking at different features of a person’s face every two seconds, continuing a constant rotation throughout your conversation. The other person will not be able to tell that you are not looking directly into their eyes, and you will gradually learn how to confidently hold another person’s gaze.
The Art of Smiling
The benefits of smiling are well-documented, increasing your perceived attractiveness and trustworthiness, as well as improving your health and reducing stress levels. While you are not expected to smile all the time, being aware of your need to smile more often at will not only make you appear more confident, but research has shown it also has the added bonus of convincing your brain that you are happier. Smiling at others is a great way to increase your self-assurance and improve your general health at the same time.