Whether you are networking or in a job interview, your body language says a lot about you. Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in how others perceive you. Ultimately, you want to present yourself professionally and confidently, and being mindful of your body language will help you do that.
To elicit confidence through your body language, be mindful of:
Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders back. While slouching communicates that you are nervous and unsure of yourself. It says, “I wish I could just hide or get this over with.” However, a straight back with your shoulders back exudes confidence. It says, “I’m confident and prepared, and someone you want to know.”
In professional settings, the delivery of your handshake is essential to an excellent first impression. Initiating a proper handshake leaves a great first impression. Additionally, a firm, steady handshake communicates your confidence.
Even though you are most likely feeling nervous, you still want to communicate friendliness and warmth, and your smile can tell someone a lot about you. Therefore, just as you would look in the mirror when putting on your best suit, be sure to practice your smile in the mirror as you introduce yourself to ensure it gives the impression you desire.
Making Eye Contact
Practice making eye contact while you are speaking to people. It can be tempting to avoid eye contact but doing so risks the perception that you are inauthentic. Eye contact goes a long way; it’s a way to connect with people and show them you are confident in your message.
Staying in Control
Avoid fidgeting or crossing your arms. Crossing your arms gives the indication that you have your guard up and may not be open to discussion while fidgeting is a telltale sign of your nervousness. Instead, relax and keep your arms uncrossed to demonstrate that you are confident and attentive rather than intimidated or emitting a negative message