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How to look more confident

Confidence is a critical element for success in many aspects of our lives.

Studies show that confident people tend to enjoy moresuccessful careers and a higher social status.

Confident people are clear and decisive. We trust them. We like them.

You’ve probably heard about many of the tricks to use to feel moreconfident: power posing, dressing for success, positive thoughts, and hand gestures.

Hand gestures are important for conveying confidence, but there are some guidelines we should observe, especially when using hand gestures in presentations.

Kasia Wezowski is the founder of the Center for Body Language, and the author of four books on the subject. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, she identifies several positions which are indicators of effective, persuasive body language:

The Box. Punctuating presentations with big, wide gestures can make a person appear untrustworthy. To control body language, imagine a box in front of your chest and belly and contain hand movements within it.

Holding the Ball. Gesturing as if you were holding a basketball between your hands is an indicator of confidence and control, as if you almost literally have the facts at your fingertips hands.

Pyramid Hands. When people are nervous, they fidget with their hands. When they’re confident, they are still. One way to accomplish that is to clasp both hands together in a relaxed pyramid. Beware of overusing it with dominant facial expressions.

Wide Stance. When you stand in this strong and steady position, with your feet about a shoulder width apart, it signals that you feel in control.

Palms Up. This gesture indicates openness and honesty.

Palms Down. The opposite movement can be viewed positively too—as a sign of strength, authority and assertiveness.

Before your next meeting or presentation, practice these moves in front of a mirror.

While they won’t make you or break you as a presenter or leader, they might just make you feel better and communicate more persuasively.

Have a great week.

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