My friends know that I’m a big “fake it ‘till you make it” advocate, especially when it comes to exuding confidence. It makes sense because your mind and body strive to agree. (You Neuroscience buffs know it as “cognitive consistency.”) So if your mind tells you that you’re anxious, your body acts accordingly. Happily, the reverse is also true. When your body constantly ACTS confident, real self-assurance follows. Here are a few tips.
1) When entering a superior’s office, don’t hover by the door. The closer you come to their desk, the more confidence you display.
2) When going through a large door or open double doors, don’t walk on one side. Stride straight through the middle.
3) Entering a party or gathering, head for the dead center of the room. That’s where self-assured people instinctively gravitate.
4) Be the last to break eye contact when passing someone in the hall.
5) Here’s one of my favorites. When you agree with someone, nod your head UP from neutral (jaw parallel to the floor). Nodding down from parallel looks more subservient.
6) In a social gathering, choose the highest chair. If it’s a business meeting, though, don’t sit higher than the boss!
7) At a table meeting, go for the chair directly to the right of the most important person at the meeting.
8) Confident people’s bodies occupy more space. Insecure people’s take as little space as possible as if to say, “Excuse me for taking up this much of the earth.” So make larger gestures. Men can put one arm up on the back of the sofa or seat.
9) Gentlemen, to look like a leader, swing your arms more significantly when you walk. And ladies, square your body toward the person you’re talking to. And beware of smiling TOO much.
10) And, of course, need I even mention posture? Think of slumping as the “Whatever you say, Sir” position and stand tall.