Want To Learn How to Gain More Confidence In Yourself? Master Your Body Language And You Will!
Before I got into real estate, I was super awkward. Like didn’t know my left from my right. Didn’t know how to present myself to people, wore my heart on my sleeve (still do), and basically did not exude confidence. And it showed in how I carried myself. If you’re not aware about how to master your body language, then you can’t gain confidence in yourself.
Very few people on this world are born with charisma and confidence, often it’s something that’s developed over time from socialization and life lessons. One of the biggest things that I learned is that body language is tied into your charisma heavily. There’s a really popular statistic- 93% of what you’re expressing to people is nonverbal. 60% of that is body language, another 33% is tone of voice.
Of course I had not been coming across as confident! I was ignoring the 60% of body language that conveys everything about me.
Body language is not to be confused as personal style, which is a totally different way of communicating who you are, but that I’ll save for another post.
So how do you learn to master your body language to convey a gain in confidence, friendliness and competence?
1. Eye Contact
This seems so obvious but so many people avoid eye contact when greeting or addressing someone. I used to hate it too. I felt like eye contact was too personal. And it’s true, a lot of expressions are portrayed through our eyes. But eye contact will tell the other person that you are truly listening and that you care about what the other person is saying. Just imagine shaking someone’s hands and not making eye contact, muttering, “nice to meet you,” and then walking away. You might have been nervous, meeting someone new, but you just portrayed yourself as someone who was not open or friendly. Versus making eye contact as soon as you are within visual line of someone, smiling and greeting someone, then shaking their hand.
And I’m not talking psycho, don’t blink, eyes open type of eye contact. We’re talking friendly and open but not intense eyes that people are drawn to and not weirded out by. Which brings me to my other point:
2. Smiling and Overall Demeanor
We’ve all heard about resting b*tch face, the blank face we usually keep when in thought or in a calm state. Smiling or keeping a pleasant upturned mouth can definitely help you maintain an open and pleasant demeanor. My last receptionist was always frowning. Whether she felt upset or just OK, she was always frowning. She would only smile when someone was being extra nice to her or if she felt it was absolutely required like taking to a supervisor’s superior. This gave the impression she was unfriendly and unpleasant when she was actually really helpful and pretty good at her job. At first changing your demeanor and resting b*tch face might feel inauthentic. Like “That’s just who I am, why do I need to change my face for?” But are you a mean, nasty and unfriendly person? Perception is reality and if your body language is not in line with what you are trying to portray then you might be giving people the wrong message.
3. “But What Do I Do With My Hands?”
I never know what to do with my hands. That’s the tell-tale sign that you can’t master your body language. I’m always fidgeting with them, maybe I’ll hold something with my hand and start picking on it. I’m working on quitting on this habit and keeping my hands steady rather than nervous and fidgety. One thing I noticed is that when I’m in conversation, keeping my hands out and palms open makes me look more genuine and authentic. I also noticed when my receptionist crossed her arms she came across as very combative and negative. Crossing your arms might be a default position for you but I would recommend quitting this habit. Every single person I’ve ever met who regularly crosses their arms in conversation comes across as negative. I would recommend an open stance with hands out and shoulders relaxed. Or if you’d like to come off as conservative, with hands held behind your back.
I have the worst posture, so probably should take this advice myself. I know it can be so hard especially when you’re sitting at a desk all day at work and looking at a computer but sitting up straight will strengthen your back and help you maintain good posture while standing and walking. There are even exercises to help with posture. It seems like such an unimportant aspect of body language but slumping can give the impression that you aren’t confident. I would say slumping while walking or standing is the worst offender for showing you have no gain of confidence.
5. Tone of voice
So before you even opened your mouth, the person you’re talking to has already made assumptions about you based on your body language. But what about when you’re trying to cold call over the phone? Tone of voice is the body language of phone introductions. <break>. I was having a conversation with a client over the phone. Things were getting really heated. I needed her to fix some of the paperwork she’s provided and she just wasn’t understanding why. She started yelling and eventually I started yelling. I think I said something in a tone that came across as condescending. I said, “Have I made myself clear?” Like I was talking to a child. She corrected me and said firmly, “please don’t talk to me that way.” I paused for a second and realized that my tone of voice was getting away from me. I was letting my frustrations show and it was being misconstrued as disrespect and rudeness. I let my voice soften and explained that I didn’t mean to be rude but I was feeling frustrated. The client and I were able to compromise and work on building respect as soon as I became aware of how my tone of voice was affecting the conversation. It wasn’t what I was saying but I how I said it.
Now let’s do an exercise. Close your eyes. I want you to envision meeting someone new. The person you’re meeting is walking towards you with their eyes looking past you and their shoulders hunched over. Their hands are in their pockets and as they reach out to greet you they are looking down, with a plain demeanor and mumbling they say, “My name is _____”
The person I just described sounds like the epitome of low confidence and is not someone I would consider magnetic or interesting.
Now let’s think of that same person and you are about to meet them for the first time. They are smiling and walking straight with eyes focused on you. As soon as they are within earshot they say loudly and clearly “my name is _____, nice to meet you.”
Now let’s take a moment to reflect, which person are you? They say first impressions are made within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. Make the best impression without even saying a word with your body language, that is how you master your body language.
Gain confidence with these easy steps and you’ll notice the difference!
Check out my other posts!
Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk