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Body language is displayed through our non-verbal communication.

Positive body language can be defined as these nonverbal movements and gestures that are communicates interest, enthusiasm, and positive reactions to what some else is saying.

Most of our communication, approximately 60 - 90% is through non-verbal communication. To many, body language is considered the most important aspect of communication as it sends signals to how we are truly feeling. In general, body language is controlled by our subconscious mind and is not always in accordance with what we are saying. Perceptive individuals will be able to pick up on the differences between what you are saying with your words and what your body is saying with its movements and deduce how you really feel.

To make sure you are conveying your thoughts and opinions how you want, practice your body language so that your movements match your words.

Here are 10 tips to help you keep your body language positive:

  • Posture.

Keep a relaxed posture whether you are sitting or standing. Keep your back straight but not stiff and let those shoulders relax. This will reinforce the idea that you feel comfortable with your surroundings. Take up space. You do not have to sprawl out but try sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit. This will signify to others that you are at ease with yourself. Learn to master your body language to show confidence with this course.

  • Lean.

Leaning in slightly when someone is speaking demonstrates that you are actively listening while leaning away signals that you are disinterested or hostile to the situation.

  • Arms.

Crossing your arms is the visual clue that you are turned-off by what is going on around you. Practice hanging your arms comfortably at your side or bringing your hands together in your lap to show others that you are open to what they are communicating.

  • Hands.

Talking with your hands is an easy way to incorporate gestures into your conversation but be careful not to make it a dance party. Emphasizing words with your hands can lead you to appear more credible and assured.

  • Handshake.

The handshake is one of the most important nonverbal communication cues because it can set the mood for the entire conversation. A firm handshake will give you instant credibility while a weak handshake will make you appear fragile. Take care not to crush the other person’s hand though. Giving someone a death grip will signal to them that you are a bully or overcompensating for something.

  • Eye contact.

Keep your head up and look the person who you are having a conversation with in the eyes both when they are talking to you and when you are talking to them. There is no need to stare them down and remember to blink and look away occasionally. Good eye contact lets others know that you are interested in the conversation.

  • Affirmative movements.

You can show empathy with simple actions of agreement like nodding your head or smiling. These actions let people know that you are on their side and that you can identify with their plight. You can even use laughter when appropriate.

  • Taking notes.

Taking notes lets others know that you value what they are saying and that you are engaged in the conversation. Taking notes is not appropriate though in every situation.

  • Slower.

Take a deep breath, hold it for a second or two, and let it out. Focus on slowing down your speech and body movements a bit. This will make you appear more confident and contemplative. It will also help calm you down if you are nervous.

Practice these body language tips and notice how your confidence improves.