Vanessa Van Edwards, author of "Human Lie Detection and Body Language 101," stopped by to share helpful tips for how to boost your confidence.
How to Look (and feel) Confident Using Body Language
Confidence is about both physical presence and mindset. Mastering confidence is essential for making friends, influencing others and winning in business. You can use confidence boosting skills in:
But how do we cultivate a confident presence and mentality? Let me show you how:
1. Use Your Body and Your Words
Most people when they go on interviews only think about the words they are going to say. They think about what they are going to say, but rarely think about how they want to say it. Nonverbal communication makes up at a minimum of 60% of our communication ability--some say its up to 93%! So if you only focus on your words, you are only using 40% of your ability. You have to get in the habit of portraying confidence with both your verbal and nonverbal content.
2. Claim Territory
Researchers at Harvard Business School found that the more expansive you are--roll your shoulders back, firmly plant your feet, open your chest and keep your head up the more confident you feel and the more confident others perceive you. This is called power posing--taking up space with your body. Putting your hands on your hips, doing the Rocky or even dancing are all forms of taking up space.
Power Pose pictures:
In mock-interviews, the researchers had participants power pose before they walked into the room. Those who power posed were rated as more confident, intelligent and skilled. So power pose before you walk into a meeting, party or interview.
3. Question Inflection
One of the biggest mistakes people make with nonverbal confidence is with their voice tone. Confident people never use the question inflection on statements. For example, be careful not to say "My name is Vanessa?" You want to make it authoritative by going down at the end of the sentence. "My name is Vanessa." Make sure to use the authoritative tone whenever you answer a question to show you are sure of your words. Research has found that especially on dates, women who use the question inflection are seen as more untrustworthy by men.
4. Eye Gazing
Confident people know the power of eye gazing. To increase your confidence, be sure to look people in the eye as you are speaking AND as they are speaking. Too often we look away, check our phone or scope out the rest of the room. This is not only rude, but very low confidence.
Fronting is when you aim your torso and toes towards the person you are speaking with. Nonverbally, this is a sign of respect. When you do this you look incredibly focused, put together and charismatic. So be sure to always keep your toes and torso aimed at the person you are speaking with.