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Two ways body language makes you look more confident

Two ways body language makes you look more confident

When speaking in public, body language plays an important role in how your message is received.

The way you stand, what you do with your hands, and how you move through space should convey confidence, says Matt Abrahams, a lecturer and communications expert at Stanford University. However, many people inadvertently signal nervousness.

The key to mastering body language when communicating is to appear 'important, poised and calm', he says.

Here are two ways your mannerisms can help you convey confidence when speaking in public.

1. Stand straight and don't sway.

'People who lack confidence distort themselves by looking small,' says Abrahams.

Keeping your head straight, standing with your feet parallel and shoulder width apart can make you look bigger, he says.

'Most of us stand like a penguin or a duck,' says Abrahams. 'It makes it easy to sway and when you see someone swaying, you assume they're nervous.'

2. Show them your hands.

'Don't put them in your pockets or under the table,' says Abrahams.

If you are leading a virtual meeting, you can place your hands in front of you or on the table.

Be sure to look at the camera, or directly at the audience you are addressing. 'Here in North America we believe in strong eye contact,' says Abrahams.

Using your body in these ways will convey confidence and dispel any suspicion of nervousness.