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Have you ever stopped to think about what you’re saying when you aren’t saying anything at all? Surprisingly enough, 50-70% of all communication is nonverbal. Meaning everything you do, from the way you stand to the way you move your eyes, all simultaneously sending messages to others around you. Being self-aware of the things you are subconsciously saying is a vital component to your success. In fact, according to a study conducted by Harvard and Stanford, one’s career success is based 85% on social skills and only 15% on technical skills. Imagine the opportunities that are in your grasp knowing this statistic.  Be proactive by learning the tools to set yourself up for success in both your professional and personal life.

1) Your stance

When speaking with someone, be sure to face directly towards them and be sure to stand up straight. Your posture says a lot about your personality and how comfortable you are in your own skin.

2) Your eyes

Eyes play an enormous role in displaying how we are feeling and eye contact is directly associated with trustworthiness in our society. Eye contact allows for a connection with the other person in the conversation and makes them feel more at ease with you. Through the eyes, we have the ability to display fear, guilt, shame, happiness, self-assurance and much more. Mastering what you are displaying is a great trick to have in your back pocket.

3) Your hands, arms & chest

You can boost your own confidence during any type of presentation, or just a basic conversation, by opening up your chest and arms. This openness allows you to breathe better therefore making you feel more relaxed. Along with comfort-ability, demonstrate confidence and power by pushing back your shoulders – again opening yourself up. Additionally, to keep your audience more engaged with whatever you are telling them, vary your hand gestures.

4) Your mouth & face

Your smile is truly your most powerful weapon. A genuine smile radiates and is noticeable throughout the whole face – especially in the eyes.  An authentic smile makes your audience feel more at ease and comfortable with you. Calmness from your audience will also put you at ease. Be sure to be an active listener when someone else is speaking by nodding and slightly mirroring their gestures. If the other person feels understood in the conversation, your message is more likely to be positively received.

5) Your feet

Have you ever noticed your feet during a conversation? If not, be aware of the position of your feet when talking to someone. This goes along with your stance. If your torso is facing someone, but your feet aren’t, you’re showing a lack of interest and most likely give off a vibe of not wanting to participate in the conversation.

These are some of the basic tips you can utilize during presentations and conversations, but rest assured there are many more. Demonstrating confidence in the way you are saying different things can be a game changer. Also, note that all of the tips can be used to read another person’s body language as well as your own. So, like momma always says, “fake it till you make it.” Show that you are ahead of the curb. Set yourself apart from any competition you may have for a job or internship. Become more confident in the person you are.

Ann-Hunter C
FFL Cabinet Member