Confident Body Language for Success

85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.  Confident body language can make all the difference in how people perceive you, how they respond to you, and how you feel about yourself.

So how do you communicate confidence? 
Start with a real smile that engages your eyes by thinking positive happy thoughts.  Smiling not only makes you appear more confident and approachable, but can actually make you feel more happy.

Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest, so look others in the eye while speaking.   A good rule of thumb is 50% while speaking, and 70% while listening.

Use a relaxed and open stance (do not cross arms or legs). Relaxed shoulders (not tense) with limbs “hanging loosely”.  This show confidence and makes others feel comfortable as well.

Studies have shown that standing for 2-3 minutes in an open “power” stance (like the “wonder woman” stance, legs slightly spread apart, hands on hips, posture straight) can make you feel more confident, so consider starting your day with a good power pose.

The Handshake and What It Says About You

I’ve written a few posts about body language, and how you come across to others. I recently received a request to talk more about the topic (and I aim to please), so today’s topic is all about the handshake.

And that’s the first point. The handshake IS important. When you meet someone, SHAKE THEIR HAND. If your hands are full, free them. If they’re standing across the room, approach them. Ignoring a handshake can be seen as disrespectful, so stand up, free your hand, approach the other person and give them a good firm handshake while making eye contact and smiling.

Now, a few tips about the handshake itself:

Warm your hands. Before you meet with the other party, rub your hands together to warm them up, and wipe them on your clothes to make sure they’re dry. You can also sit with your hands underneath your legs to keep them warm and dry.

Free your right hand. When they enter the room, make sure your right hand is free and clear for the handshake.

Go the distance. Stand too close and you’re invading their space. Stand too far away and you appear uncomfortable and isolated. You should stand far enough away to “extend” your hand to shake theirs, but don’t stand so far away that your body has to lean forward to reach them. If’ you’re not sure, stand still, extend your hand, and let them step in to a comfortable distance.

Get a grip. Never EVER grip too tight, especially if you’re a man shaking a woman’s hand. But a weak handshake is not good either. (ladies, NEVER do the little “fingertip handshake”). Give a good solid handshake without squeezing. It’s courteous and shows confidence.

Good hand positioning. Believe it or not, the angle of your hand is significant. An “underhand shake”, where your palm is up, is a sign of submission. An “overhand shake”, where your palm is facing downward, is a sign of dominance. It’s best to make sure your palm is facing sideways, not up or down. If the other person’s palm is facing upward or downward, you should take their hand and adjust so that both your hands are vertical. This indicates a partnership and equality.

A good general rule of thumb… follow the other person’s lead with everything EXCEPT positioning, which should ALWAYS be vertical.

Hope this helps!

Looking Your Best on Camera

When someone considers appearing in their own video, one of the questions they often ask is ,”Can you make me look better on camera?”

To answer your question, yes and no.

Although there are a few things that can be done in post, it’s not as easy as tweaking a picture to remove a blemish or wrinkle. But there are a few things you can do when preparing for and shooting the video that can help you look better on camera.

First, if you’re nervous or self conscious about how you look, you can avoid doing close-ups. We use what’s called b-roll to show the subject at more of a distance when they’re doing something they’re comfortable with instead of looking into the lens of a camera. This can also make a video more interesting.

To make your skin look “softer” or younger, use softer lighting (something with a warmer color temperature). Florescent lighting and outdoor lighting are “bluer”. Indoor, incandescent lighting is softer.

You can also sometimes make yourself look a little bit thinner on camera by standing at a slight angle. Stand with one foot slightly in front of the other, pointing forward, and the other foot pointing to the side. You sometimes appear to be thinner if your body isn’t facing the camera directly.

But What about the blemishes and wrinkles? It’s simple. Use a little make-up. CN Video works with Mary Kay consultants who can provide skin care and make-up tips for our clients before they appear on camera.

We hope this was helpful. Feel free to check out some of our other videos, or if you have more specific questions, give us a call at 314-843-3663 (that’s 314-video me) and we’ll be happy to chat with you. Thanks for watching. I’ll be CN you on Video!