Nobody can say for certain exactly how much body language influences a first impression, but some research indicates it might be as high as 90% responsible for the first impression you create. Here are some body language tips to help you make a positive impact:
Body Movement and Position
– Move or sit with steady confidence, displaying an upright body position.
Have eye contact, but don’t stare
– If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Too much eye contact is creepy, too little and and you can seem insecure.
Take up some space
– for example, sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin.
Relax your shoulders
– Tension is often demonstrated in your shoulders – they might move up and forward a bit. Deliberately loosen them up by shaking the shoulders a bit, and move them back and down slightly.
Nod when people are talking
– this indicates you are listening. But take care not to overdo it!
Smile and Laugh
– lighten up, don’t take yourself too seriously. Relax, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person, but don’t be the first to laugh at your own jokes. It makes you seem nervous and needy. Smile when you are introduced to someone, but don’t keep a smile plastered on your face, you’ll seem insincere.
Keep your head up
– Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon, or towards the people in the conversation. Don’t look at the ground – you’ll come across as insecure and a bit lost.
Slow down a bit
– not only will you come across as more calm and confident, it will also help calm you down too. This goes for many things, such as walking, talking and turning towards someone who addresses you.
Use your hands more confidently
– don’t fidget, but use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make, but not too much, as it can become distracting.
Arms and legs
– point them toward whoever you are interested in or paying attention to, as it indicates interest and draws people towards you.