Do you ever wonder how some people seem so cool, calm, and collected, as though a rattle snake won’t even rattle them?
How about people who just give off this air of confidence and masterfulness when they speak? Think Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson or President Obama.
How about individuals who can charm the pants off people? (Do a few names pop into mind?)
Well, one of the reasons these folks are so notable is because they have mastered the art of body language.
Body language is the gestures, movements, and mannerisms by which people (and animals too) communicate to others.
For most individuals, body language just happens naturally. But others have found a way to elevate themselves using their body language to draw attention to their talents, raise their stature, and enhance their charisma.
Here are 11 incredible ways to improve your body language and upgrade your mojo! (Rrrraaawww!)
1. Look people in the eyes.
When you speak to a person or a group of people, make eye contact. This action conveys a level of trust, creates a connection, and helps them pay attention to what you’re saying.
2. Turn your body to face the people or person you are talking to.
When you purposely position your body to face your audience or the person you’re communicating with, you expose another level trust. This forward-facing position shows you have nothing to hide. It also exhibits to the person you are talking with that you are engaged and attentive to the conversation.
3. When speaking, use hand gestures that are appropriate to what you are saying.
Hand gestures can give emphasis to what you are talking about, whilst keeping the audience engaged by having their attention directed by your hands. (But don’t make big hand gestures that go above your shoulders because this will appear odd and distracting.)
4. Limit your shoulder movements unless appropriate.
Do you notice how some people talk with their shoulders? It’s as if they’re always saying, “I dunno.” And that is exactly how people will perceive the speaker—as not being very convincing or authoritative.
5. Limit head bobbing, hair flipping, teeth sucking, lip biting, face touching, or other repetitive habits.
It’s very distracting and annoying for folks on the receiving end. (Just sayin’.)
6. Speak with your eyes.
This is different from making eye contact. When you speak with your eyes you suggest interest, understanding, and enjoyment. You can also stress eye movements to emphasize a part in the conversation or draw someone’s attention by using your eyes to ‘point’ at something you want them to look at.
7. Speak with your eyebrows. (But not too much.)
This body language is gonna take some skill. It’s not for everybody, but it is an eye catcher.
If you can accentuate your dialogue with a little eyebrow hike—well, more power to you. (Hubba-hubba!) But please don’t do weird stuff with your eyebrows—it’s just going to be awkward for everybody.
8. Put your hands on your hips like Wonder Woman or a general.
This is a signature power move. As you have seen, it’s done by superheroes, persons in the military, and people who know they are the ‘boss’!
This posture expresses authority, masterfulness, and confidence. When done for two minutes or longer, it also increases testosterone production in the body, which decreases stress and makes you feel good. (Learn more about power posing here.)
9. Place your hands behind your head.
Positioning your hands behind your head is another power move. (Unless a cop tells you to do it—then it’s not so powerful.) Think back and remember when you’ve seen this move done (in a cop-free environment), what does it elicit? Thoughts of, He’s the man! (Or she! If you’ve watched Oprah, you know she busts this move often.)
10. When speaking to an audience, walk around.
Slowly moving about as you give a speech implies confidence, an ease about you, and will help you connect with the folks around the room.
11. Genuinely smile.
Smiling connects you to others like no other movement. A sincere smile can break down social divides, improve relations, and boosts confidence on both sides. Smiling gets you by far more yeses.
Implement these tactics and use your body language effectively to be that cool cat!