Speaking in front of a large crowd, interviewing for a reputable company, meeting the parents for the first time, are all extremely nerve-wracking experiences. No matter how much we prepare ourselves, sometimes we just crumble under the pressure and feel helpless. Fortunately, there are ways to convince others and even yourself that you are confident, prepared, and genuine. Listed below are some body language cues that can help yourself and others believe you are fearless.
1. Prepare yourself by looking in the mirror and practicing dominant poses
Push your shoulders back, stand up straight, lift your chin up and give yourself a pep talk in the mirror. These gestures have been proved to physiologically impact you and can give you the extra boost for reassurance right before an intimidating interview or speech.
2. Eye contact
It is important to make eye contact with your audience whether it be one person or a hundred people. Looking at your shoes or staring at the clock can disengage and distract the audience. Friendly eye contact can show that you’re effortlessly confident and make the situation less awkward and more enjoyable.
3. Use hand gestures and don’t fidget
Fidgeting not only distracts your audience but also shows your anxious tendencies. It’s hard to stop chewing on your lip, shaking your leg, putting your hands in and out of your pocket but these are signs that clearly show lack of confidence. To prevent these nervous habits from exposing your insecurities during an interview, practice hand gestures. Don’t overwhelm your audience with excessive hand gestures as that can lead to distract them. Using a moderate amount and necessary amount of hand gestures from time to time can help engage your audience and portray enthusiasm.
Depending on the situation, smiling can help communicate to your audience that you are comfortable in your own skin and happy to be there. Practice your smile in the mirror and try to be as genuine as possible.
5. Speak at a comfortable pace
Speaking fast is a common nervous habit. However, this is one of the easier ones to fix with minimal practice. Speaking slow helps the audience understand more clearly but it can also help you think more thoroughly as well. Taking pauses when you’ve been speaking at a moderate pace can help you retract thoughts without seeming awkward.