You’re about to begin the biggest presentation of your career. You’re prepared, organized, and ready to blow everyone’s mind. As you take your seat at the head of the table, your shoulders slump, your hands clasp together in your lap, and your head points downward. This is just how you normally sit, so it should be okay, right? **Wrong.** In fact, no matter how awesome your presentation is, odds are the audience won’t take you seriously. Why? Well, body language experts agree that posture definitely influences the way that people perceive you. **Good body language can translate to great confidence, excellent health, and a positive attitude.** Want to get out of your slump, literally? Check out our five tips for better body language.When you speak, try not to fidget or fiddle your fingers. Additionally, don’t hide your hands in your lap – studies have shown that this type of body language can indicate that you have something to hide. Instead, keep your hands folded and still on the table, with your thumbs showing. Keeping the thumbs outside of the fingers can imply that you are tough, confident, and ready to hash things out.
For the most part, it’s important to keep your hands still, simply to indicate that you’re calm and collected. However, if you are making an important point and want to command extra attention, try subtly teepeeing your fingers while you talk. This gesture can assist in helping your statements come across as straightforward and assured.
Hanging your head, even if only slightly, can indicate that you are (at best) unsure, and (at worst) sullen. Keep your head held high at all times. Bonus tip: When you’re nervous, don’t touch your face, head or neck. Motions like this can indicate that you are in distress, and can subconsciously make other people feel uncomfortable or anxious.
This tip is especially difficult to follow for women, who are often encouraged to be diminutive and demure. However, research shows that positioning your body expansively – spreading your arms, standing with your legs apart, and keeping your shoulders wide- can command more attention and respect from other people in the room. Just be sure not to invade anyone’s personal space while you’re at it.
So, you’ve kept your hands still, you head high, and your shoulders broad. And yet, somehow, you still don’t feel like you’re commanding the room as much as you’d like to. Now is the perfect time to stand up. Standing speakers get more attention from an audience. It also gives you the opportunity to lean toward people, which is a gesture that (when executed properly) can make the conversation seem more personal.