1. Don cross your arms or legs
You have probably already heard you shouldn cross your arms as it might make you seem defensive or guarded. This goes for your legs too. Keep your arms and legs open.
2. Have eye contact, but don stare
If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure. If you are not used to keeping eye-contact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you™ll get used to it.
3. Don be afraid to take up some space
Taking up space by for example sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin.
4. Relax your shoulders
When you feel tense it easily winds up as tension in your shoulders. They might move up and forward a bit. Try to relax. Try to loosen up by shaking the shoulders a bit and move them back slightly.
5. Nod when they are talking
nod once in a while to signal that you are listening. But don overdo it and peck like Woody Woodpecker.
6. Don slouch, sit up straight
but in a relaxed way, not in a too tense manner.
7. Lean, but not too much
If you want to show that you are interested in what someone is saying, lean toward the person talking. If you want to show that you™re confident in yourself and relaxed lean back a bit. But don lean in too much or you might seem needy and desperate for some approval. Or lean back too much or you might seem arrogant and distant.
8. Smile and laugh
lighten up, don take yourself too seriously. Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. But don be the first to laugh at your own jokes, it makes you seem nervous and needy. Smile when you are introduced to someone but don keep a smile plastered on your face, you™ll seem insincere.
9. Don touch your face
it might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation.
10. Keep you head up -
Don keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon.
11. Slow down a bit
this goes for many things. Walking slower not only makes you seem more calm and confident, it will also make you feel less stressed. If someone addresses you, don snap you™re neck in their direction, turn it a bit more slowly instead.
12. Don fidget
try to avoid, phase out or transform fidgety movement and nervous ticks such as shaking your leg or tapping your fingers against the table rapidly. You™ll seem nervous and fidgeting can be a distracting when you try to get something across.. Declutter your movements if you are all over the place. Try to relax, slow down and focus your movements.
13. Use your hands more confidently
instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face use them to communicate what you are trying to say. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. But don use them to much or it might become distracting. And don let your hands flail around, use them with some control.
14. Lower your drink
don hold your drink in front of your chest. In fact, don hold anything in front of your heart as it will make you seem guarded and distant. Lower it and hold it beside your leg instead.
15. Realise where you spine ends
many people (including me until recently) might sit or stand with a straight back in a good posture. However, they might think that the spine ends where the neck begins and therefore crane the neck forward in a Montgomery Burns-pose. Your spine ends in the back of your head. Keep you whole spine straight and aligned for better posture.
16. Don stand too close
one of the things we learned from Seinfeld is that everybody gets weirded out by a close-talker. Let people have their personal space, don invade it.
17. Mirror -
Often when you get along with a person, when the two of you get a good connection, you will start to mirror each other unconsciously. That means that you mirror the other person body language a bit. To make the connection better you can try a bit of proactive mirroring. If he leans forward, you might lean forward.. If she holds her hands on her thighs, you might do the same. But don react instantly and don mirror every change in body language. Then weirdness will ensue. :)
18. Keep a good attitude
last but not least, keep a positive, open and relaxed attitude. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference. For information on how make yourself feel better read 10 ways to change how you feel and for relaxation try A very simple way to feel relaxed for 24 hours.