If you want to be more confident when talking in public, start practising these 9 simple body language tricks

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Speaking in public can be a daunting task. It’s not just about the words you say, but also how you carry yourself.

Confidence is key, and body language plays a massive role in portraying that confidence.

The way you stand, move your hands, or even tilt your head can speak volumes about your confidence levels. And the beauty of it is, these are all things you can control and practice.

In this article, we’ll explore nine simple body language tricks that can help boost your confidence when talking in public. These tricks aren’t about pretending or putting on a show, but about helping you genuinely feel more self-assured.

If you want to nail your next presentation or speech, keep reading. You might just find that with a little practice, public speaking isn’t as scary as it seems.

1) Stand tall and straight

A key element of projecting confidence is in the way you stand.

Posture is often overlooked, but it’s one of the first things people notice about you. Slouching can make you seem unsure or uninterested, which is not the impression you want to give when speaking in public.

Now, standing tall and straight doesn’t mean puffing out your chest or standing rigidly. Instead, it’s about adopting a natural, upright position that gives off an air of assurance.

Think about aligning your spine, keeping your shoulders back and your head held high. This stance not only makes you appear more confident to others, but it also helps you feel more self-assured.

Practice makes perfect. Start by incorporating this posture in your daily routine and soon, it will become second nature whenever you’re in front of an audience.

When you’re on stage or presenting in a meeting, remember: stand tall and straight. It’s a simple trick but one that can make a world of difference.

2) Maintain eye contact

Eye contact is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to conveying confidence.

I’ll never forget the first time I had to present in front of my colleagues at a company-wide meeting. I was terrified and my eyes were darting around the room, avoiding direct gaze with anyone. It was obvious that I was nervous and unsure.

But then, I remembered a piece of advice a mentor once gave me: “Look them in the eye. It shows you’re not afraid.”

So, I took a deep breath, lifted my eyes and started maintaining eye contact with my audience. It was challenging initially, but as I continued, I noticed a change. It was as if looking into their eyes gave me the courage to speak my mind.

The audience responded positively too. They seemed more engaged and attentive, and I could tell they were actually listening to what I had to say.

From that day forward, maintaining eye contact became a staple in all my public speaking endeavors. It’s amazing how such a simple act can deliver such a powerful impact on your confidence levels.

3) Use open gestures

Our hands are one of the most expressive parts of our body. They can reveal a lot about our confidence levels, sometimes even more than our words.

Open gestures, where your palms are visible and your arms are relaxed, can signal honesty and openness. This can make your audience feel more comfortable, and in turn, make you seem more confident.

On the contrary, closed gestures, like crossed arms or clenched fists, can give off an impression of defensiveness or nervousness.

Interestingly, a study by the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal found that speakers who use larger hand gestures are perceived as more charismatic by their audience.

When you’re speaking in public, don’t forget to be mindful of your hand movements. Use them to emphasize points and convey passion about your topic. It’s a powerful way to boost your confidence and engage your audience.

4) Smile genuinely

A smile can go a long way in creating a positive atmosphere.

But it’s not just any smile that does the trick. It’s the genuine, warm smiles that can put both you and your audience at ease.

When you smile genuinely, it releases endorphins – the ‘feel-good’ hormones, which can help decrease your stress levels and make you feel more confident.

Moreover, a genuine smile is infectious. It can help create a positive environment and make your audience more receptive to what you’re saying.

Before you step onto that stage or podium, take a moment to think of something that makes you truly happy and let that genuine smile shine through. It’s a simple trick, yet incredibly effective in boosting your confidence while speaking in public.

5) Use a confident voice

Your voice is one of your most powerful tools when speaking in public.

The tone, volume, and speed of your speech can significantly impact the way your message is received. Speaking too softly or too quickly can give the impression that you’re nervous or unsure.

On the other hand, speaking in a clear, steady voice exudes confidence. It shows that you’re sure about what you’re saying and that you’re comfortable sharing it with others.

One way to practice this is by recording yourself speaking. Listen to the playback and note areas for improvement. Work on maintaining a steady pace and a clear, strong tone.

Your voice carries your message. Make sure it’s conveying confidence.

6) Embrace your nerves

Let’s face it – we all get nervous. Even the most seasoned public speakers will tell you they experience butterflies in their stomach before they step onto the stage.

But here’s the thing: it’s okay to be nervous. In fact, it’s more than okay – it’s completely natural. Nerves simply mean that you care about what you’re about to do.

Instead of trying to fight your nerves, embrace them. Take a moment before you start speaking to acknowledge how you’re feeling. Take a few deep breaths and channel those nerves into excitement and passion for what you’re about to share.

By accepting and embracing your nerves, you’re not only being honest with yourself, but also with your audience. And that authenticity can actually boost your confidence and make your performance even more compelling.

When those butterflies start fluttering, remember: it’s a sign that you’re ready to fly. Embrace them, and let them lift you up.

7) Take your time

Speaking too fast is a common mistake many of us make when we’re nervous. I remember during one of my early public speaking experiences, I was so anxious to get it over with that I rushed through my entire speech. The result? A confused audience and an even more flustered me.

Over time, I realized the importance of taking my time when speaking in public. By slowing down, I was not only able to articulate my points more clearly, but I also felt more in control and, consequently, more confident.

Take pauses between key points. This gives your audience time to absorb what you’re saying and also gives you a moment to gather your thoughts.

Public speaking is not a race. It’s about effectively conveying your message. Take your time, breathe, and speak at a pace that’s comfortable for both you and your audience.

8) Practice power posing

Power posing is a technique that involves standing in a posture that signals confidence and assertiveness, even when we don’t feel that way.

For instance, standing with your hands on your hips, your chest out, and your chin up is a classic power pose. It’s sometimes referred to as the “Superman” or “Wonder Woman” pose.

Holding a power pose for just two minutes can have a significant impact on our feelings of confidence. It can increase our levels of testosterone, the hormone linked to power and dominance, and decrease our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Before you step out to speak in public, find a quiet space and strike a power pose. It might feel silly at first, but the boost in confidence it can provide is very real.

9) Be yourself

This is, perhaps, the most crucial piece of advice. There’s no point in trying to mimic someone else’s style or copy another speaker’s mannerisms.

Authenticity resonates with people. When you are genuinely yourself, it shines through and creates a connection with your audience that no amount of practiced gestures or rehearsed lines can replicate.

So let your unique personality shine through when you’re speaking. It’s your individuality that makes you interesting and memorable.

Being yourself is the ultimate confidence booster. Because at the end of the day, there’s no one better at being you than you.

The power of body language

Our body language can often speak louder than our words. It’s like a silent dialogue that we’re constantly having with those around us, communicating our thoughts, feelings, and yes, our confidence.

Albert Mehrabian, a pioneer in the field of nonverbal communication, found that 55% of communication is body language. This suggests that how we present ourselves physically can have a profound impact on how others perceive us and, more importantly, how we perceive ourselves.

The nine simple body language tricks we’ve discussed here are more than just physical postures or gestures. They’re tools to help you tap into your inner confidence, amplify your voice, and make a positive impact on your audience.

So next time you’re preparing for a public speaking event, remember to pay attention to your body language. Practice these tricks, embrace your nerves, and remember to be authentically you.

Because when you stand tall, maintain eye contact, smile genuinely, and let your individuality shine through – that’s when you truly connect with your audience. And honestly, there’s no greater confidence booster than that.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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