Whether you’re conscious about your body movements or facial expressions, chances are, what you’re feeling on the inside is being portrayed on the outside. The vibe that you’re giving off let’s most people know whether it is okay to mess with you or not. Forbes writer, Jacquelyn Smith, offers 10 ways to strengthen your nonverbal skills to appear more confident professionally.
Good eye contact. This shows that you are engaged with the conversation and the person speaking.
A confident handshake. Have you ever had someone grab just your fingers? It is awkward. Strong handshakes that incorporate the entire hand convey strength.
Effective gestures. Talking with your hands can be efficient, if used properly. Huge hand motions could be distracting.
Dressing the part. The clothes make the man… or woman. How you dress says a lot about your style and mind frame. For example: conservatively dressed people tend to seem more traditional.
Authoritative posture and presence. People with a commanding presence can silence a room with just a look. Fill up the space, don’t sprawl, spread out your arms and legs. Sit or stand with your back straight and your head held high.
Appropriate facial expressions. Practice makes perfect, not all emotions should be on display for your co-workers. Know how your face responds to different emotions.
Initiating interactions. Be the first to say hello in the morning, smile at a co-worker, shake someone’s hand, volunteer for more work.
Appropriate voice tone. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Sarcasm is one example of how your tone conveys the opposite of what you are saying.
Giving your full attention. Have you ever spoken to someone who was looking the other way, or faced away from you? These are all examples of what not to do. Face who you are speaking to and make eye contact.
Responding to others’ nonverbal cues. When interacting with others be sure to notice their nonverbal cues. Are they zoned out, engaged, do they have a question? This is all revealed if you only pay attention.