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Improve your body language

by Harshini Haridass

Body Language

Body language is the way you stand, the way you move your hands while you talk, gestures, stance and facial expressions. If you have public speaking anxiety (Manage your public speaking anxiety), chances are that you might adopt to a closed style of body expression. This means that you look anxious and nervous in social situations.

It can be initially tough to change or adopt to a new position, changing your stances, gestures to appear open. It might send a better message to those around you.

Eventually with time, the new style can be adopted. It might in turn make you feel less anxious.

There are few body language mistakes that you might be making right now.

Body language mistakes you might be making

Fake Smile

Are your smiles genuine? Others will be able to tell if you are faking a smile because only your mouth will be involved.


“Face is the Index of your mind”


Do not avoid Eye contact

It can be tempting and comfortable to look down or away from someone talks to you, avoiding eye contact indicates that you are not interested in the conversation. Practice looking into other people’s eyes about 60% of the time; any amount greater than this will start to appear like staring.

Avoid Slouching

Stop and look at how you are sitting or standing right now. Are you slouched over or upright? Are your shoulders down with arms comfortably at your sides, or are you scrunched up, trying to take up as little space as possible? Stand straight, do not slouch. Slouching shows you are tired or not interested or less confident.

Do not look down

When you slouch, you probably also look down. Maybe you look down when you walk, when you meet someone, or during conversation. Looking down tells others that you are anxious or have something to hide.


When first meeting new acquaintances do you offer a firm handshake or a sick turtle? That sick turtle is doing you more harm than good, even though it might feel like your natural way to shake hands.

Folding Arms

Whether you are doing it because you are cold, anxious, or simply more comfortable that way, crossing your arms in front of you sends the message for other people to stay away from you. Do not do it, it may be rude.

Improve your Body Language

Smile for Real- With a real smile, the upper part of your face changes as well… your eyes scrunch up a little and you get crows feet. Try to stop and think about why you are smiling and whether you really mean it.

Give a Strong Handshake- Practice a firm handshake that shows you have confidence and are sure of yourself.

Stand Up Straight- If your tendency is to slouch, try picturing an imaginary string attached to the top of your head and the ceiling. Let that image pull your head upward and your body out of the slouched position. You should immediately feel more confident.


“How we stand has a huge impact on how we speak”


Make Eye Contact- If looking others in the eye feels too hard, try looking at a spot between their eyes. They’ll never know.

Lean In- Leaning in shows openness and attention. It shows you are interested in the conversation.

Avoid your pockets- Though it can be tempting to shove your hands in your pockets, particularly if you are worried about them shaking, doing so makes you look more anxious and less confident. Keep your hands out of your pockets to look more self-assured.

Still not sure you can muster up the confidence to change your body language? Remember that you don’t have to feel confident to change your behavior. Although it might feel strange at first, acting in a confident way will eventually feel more natural and might even boost your self-esteem.

If you really need convincing, have a look at yourself on video; your nervous habits and posture can be easily changed once you identify them.

Be confident ! Be a better person.

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