Leading modules


Module 6 “Becoming the Best” – Interpersonal Skills

Unit 5: Confidence
Confident body language

Whether you know it or not, your body speaks volumes about you without you having to open your mouth. It`s called body language or nonverbal behaviour and it can show others a lot about your present state of mind or your level of self-confidence.

We know we can control what we say, but did you know you can control what your body says about you? Unfortuantely, even in todays more gender equal business environment , this subject is extremely important.

Image source: thebusinesswomanmedia.com

Here are some ways in which you can use body language to look more confident in business situations:

Stop making yourself smaller – extend the space you take up with your posture and possessions. Straighten your back when sitting down. Find a comfortable place for your elbows if you are sitting in a meeting.

Don’t over-nod – Most women are generally supportive. They are masters of active listening and show empathy by nodding their heads in approval. Sometimes they may over-nod to show support. This is not always a negative thing and can show that you are empathetic and caring. However, in business generally, and if talking to business partners be sure only to nod when you really agree with someone.

  1. Stop fake smiling – Women are used to hiding their true feelings and smiling even if they don`t feel like it. In a business environment, it is not always important for everyone to like you. Of course, if this is possible then great news! You are expected however, to deliver results and solutions.
  2. You don`t have to work to be nice and make friends. You work to make an impact. On the other side of this, it is important to smile! Smiling improves your health, your stress levels and your feelings about yourself. Smiling can trick your brain into feeling happy and can increase productivity when performing tasks.
  3. Give a firm handshake – Even though you may not like it, your appearance and looks generate the first impression whilst your handshake generates the second impression. A firm handshake tells the other person that you are confident in your abilities and that you are well aware you deserve to be there. You are as competent as anyone else so you need to show this in your handshake. Your handshake should be firm, brief and accompanied by confident and steady eye contact.
  4. Keep head tilting to a minimum – The head tilt indicates interest and curiosity. This can express admiration in order to gain sympathy and protectiveness. However, it generally is a posture which conveys vulnerability and submissiveness. Try to keep the head tilting to a minimum so you don`t appear to lack authority or power.
  5. Give an air of calmness and control – Women express themselves easily with words and gestures. They participate in conversations with a wide range of hand gestures, facial expressions, body positions and movements. Make sure you appear calm and in control in order to provide people with the knowledge that you are in control.
  6. Eye contact – Eye contact suggests you are truthful, engaging and approachable. Confident eyes make the other person feel more positive and connected to you. However, too much eye contact can send the signal that you could be aggressive. In body language eye contact is one of the most important things to be aware of.
  7. Remember your arms and legs – Crossing of your arms and legs can suggest you are defensive, self-protective and closed off. If you clasp your hands behind your back, you might be showing you feel bored, anxious or even angry. Tapping your fingers and fidgeting shows others you are bored, impatient or frustrated. Begin to change the position of your arms and legs.