How to Look and Feel More Confident in Social Situations

Updated on January 7, 2017
Room of My Own profile image

Sadie Holloway is a speaker and workshop facilitator who enjoys helping people find their passion and pursue their dream careers.

Here are some tips on how to boost your confidence by becoming more aware of how your body speaks to other people. Understanding how people send and receive messages with facial expressions, gestures and body movement will help you learn how to project the kind of easy confidence that people are naturally drawn to.

Are you ready to burst out of your bubble of shyness and feel more confident in social settings at work and amongst friends?
Are you ready to burst out of your bubble of shyness and feel more confident in social settings at work and amongst friends?

Using body language effectively can help add emphasis and clarity to the things you say. By being mindful of your body language you will be better able to match your words and thoughts with you facial expressions, gestures, and body movements. In turn, this can help you express and convey your sincerity, passion, and commitment to the issue you are talking about.

One of the other benefits of mastering your body language is that it can help you channel nervous energy in ways that aren’t distracting. Instead of letting your nervousness show through in unconscious twitches, shaking, or restlessness, you can learn how to consciously redirect that energy to make your hand movements, facial expressions and gestures more aligned with your verbal messages.

Do your hands and facial expressions match what you're saying?

Often the people who appear the most confident in social situations are the ones who are able to express themselves with sincerity and authenticity. Their physical movements are aligned with the meaning and intent of their words.
Often the people who appear the most confident in social situations are the ones who are able to express themselves with sincerity and authenticity. Their physical movements are aligned with the meaning and intent of their words.

Types of Body Language

  • Facial expressions
  • Gestures
  • Body position

Facial expressions: Your eyes, brows, cheeks, mouth, and chin are the primary source of non-verbal information. People look at one another's faces to discern a speaker’s emotions and their honesty and sincerity. The most trustworthy and admired people are the ones whose facial expressions match their words. For example, eye movements can send clues about someone’s honesty.

If you have a habit or smiling when you are nervous, practice controlling this habit so that you don’t grin or smile when talking about difficult or serious subjects. It’s always unnerving to talk to someone who smiles uncontrollably when talking about tragic or upsetting news.

Gestures: Gestures can be used to punctuate your verbal messages with feeling and emotion. Most gestures are made with your hands and arms although any part of your body can be used to add emphasis, such as leaning in with your hips or turning to face the person you are speaking to. Here are three basic types of gestures:

  • Conventional gestures are used as symbols for words. For example, a raised hand, palm facing outward says ‘stop’. Three raised fingers can be used to for the number three.
  • Descriptive gestures visually describe what you are communicating. Examples include moving the hands closer together or farther apart to indicate size or length or using the hands to outline a shape in the air such as a circle or square.
  • Emotional gestures suggest feelings. For example, a clenched fist suggests anger. Pulling your arms around yourself in an embrace might suggest a hug, warmth, or other such cozy feelings.

Body position. Your posture, stance, and directional positioning can give away clues about your alertness, your confidence or your interest in what the person you are with has to say. Turning your body away from someone suggests indifference while sitting up and leaning forward when someone speaking suggests you are interested. Here's how you can use body positioning to project more confidence in a friendly, non-threatening way:

  • Whether you are tall or short, get comfortable with your height. Compensating for height differences can undermine your projection of self-confidence. If you're worried that you're too tall compared to the person you are speaking to, instead of slouching or shifting your hips to lower your overall stance, simply take a few steps back. Doing this will not only improve your posture and make you look confident, you'll be giving your audience an appropriate amount of personal space.
  • Stay level-headed. Avoid tilting your head when giving your presentation. It changes the pitch of your voice and can make you sound shrill and whiny. Try to keep your chin parallel to the floor. While a cocked-head or a thoughtful sideways glance can add theatrical emphasis to your story, keep your audience's aural needs in mind. Make sure that you are speaking directly to them 99% of the time.
  • Ground yourself. Keep both feet flat on the floor and pointed towards the person (or people) you are speaking to. Teetering on your heels tends to amplify nervous energy.

It's much easier to feel confident in a social situation when you feel grounded and balanced. keep both feet flat on the floor and slightly parted for greater stability.
It's much easier to feel confident in a social situation when you feel grounded and balanced. keep both feet flat on the floor and slightly parted for greater stability.

Your posture and facial expressions, the position of your feet, what you do with your hands – all of these facets of your body language can give away information about who you are (honest or deceitful), how you feel about yourself (confident or nervous) and what your true motives are (to do good or just get ahead). So what do you want your body language to say about you?

Source material: Using Body Language, The Better Speaker Series, Toastmasters International

© 2017 Sadie Holloway

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • dddarlene profile image

    dddarlene 

    18 months ago

    I say be proud, of yourself, n other people, will look at you, ok!!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)