The next time you glance in a mirror, take note of your posture. What does your body language say about you? Do you see a strong, confident leader, or self-conscious, uncomfortable slumper? In professional communication, what your listener sees is just as important as what they hear. A weak stance or slumping shoulders can give the impression that you are unsure of yourself and unconsciously trying to hide. On the other hand, strong posture conveys that you are a confident, capable professional with a message worth listening to. Check out our 5 simple steps to projecting confidence, professionalism and presence through posture:
- Straighten Up: The first rule of good posture is one you’ve likely heard since you were a child: Stand up straight! Stand with your shoulders back and your chin level with the floor. Imagine a string running up through your spine and out the top of your head. Now, imagine that someone above you is lightly tugging on that string, pulling your body upright and into perfect alignment. This type of strong, straight-backed alignment conveys confidence and professionalism and provides a commanding presence.
- Keep a Strong Stance: Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground with your weight evenly distributed between them. Try to keep your stance relatively steady: shifting your weight back and forth is distracting to your listener, and can give the impression that you are unsure of yourself or your message.
- Don’t Lean: Leaning against a podium or wall or your desk can look sloppy and overly casual. If you find you’re a habitual leaner, try to stick to open spaces during presentations or important conversations.
- Sit Strong: Even people with good posture may be tempted to slouch when sitting. Try to keep the same straight-backed posture you have when standing. To keep it natural, lean slightly forward from the waist, letting your forearms rest on the table in front of you. This also shows that you are engaged and ready to take action, rather than passively absorbing the conversation.
- Relax: Although you want to appear professional and confident, having an overly rigid posture can have the opposite effect, making you appear stiff and uncomfortable. Once you’ve found a strong, straight posture that feels right, try to release muscle tension and relax into the stance.
If you are looking to polish your communication skills be sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. For additional information call us at 212-308-7725 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
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