There’s more to your appearance than your clothing. High quality, well-tailored clothing gives your image an immediate boost, but you can maximize that advantage by mastering effective body language.
When others see you, they see your clothes first, then they notice body language; the way you walk, how you sit, what you do with your hands while you talk, and the expressions on your face. All these contribute to their opinion of you. Three key points on body language will steer you toward an image of confidence and self-assurance.
- Handshake- Check that your handshake is firm but not overbearing. No one likes a weak grip, but they also don’t want bruised fingers after a quick hello-and-handshake.
- Eye contact- Many of us look at people when they’re talking to us, but let our gaze wander when we’re the one speaking. Eye contact, more than anything else, shows that we’re interested and engaged in the conversation.
- Posture- Standing (or sitting) tall creates a look of purpose and capability. Much of today’s office work involves sitting at a desk and looking down at a computer screen, phone, or paperwork, which can give one a hunched, worried-looking posture. Remind yourself to stretch your shoulders back and sit in a chair with proper back support.
Once you begin to pay attention to the messages your body language is sending, you’re on the path to a more confident, relaxed look. You’ll enjoy a better image-and maybe even a better self-image, too.