Confident people display certain behavioral characteristics when they interact with others and their environment; whether they realize it or not. Those who are comfortable in their skin don’t even have to speak to display confidence; they will even exude it without doing so because 93% of human communication is non-verbal, while the other 7% is verbal.
Because non-verbal communication doesn’t lie, we can simply examining someone’s body language and can determine if the person we are observing is confident or not; even if we aren’t trained to know what to look for. To prove this point, let us imagine two different men at a bar:
Man #1: Sitting at the bar, slouched over, making no eye contact, isn’t being social, speaks softly when ordering his drinks, doesn’t smile, and is taking up little space.
Man #2: Sitting at the bar, good posture, makes eye contact with people, is very social, speaks up when ordering his drinks, smiles, and take up a lot of space.
Now by just imagining those two different scenarios in your mind’s eye, and examining the differences between them, you already have a good feeling which man is the more confident type don’t you? Obviously, Man #2 is the “alpha male” even if you had no idea what kind of behaviors to look for. You instinctively knew this somehow and that’s because body language is universal and easy to read. You can tell when someone is mad by looking at their face, or if someone is in a rush if they are moving too and fro… you get the picture.
While you imagined Man #1 scenario, your mind identified the body language of someone who seems uncomfortable, insecure, and has a very weak presence. Even if Man #1 was a successful, self-made billionaire who makes a living doing speaking tours, you wouldn’t have ever guessed it because he sure isn’t acting like one. All the money in the world isn’t going to help this guy make friends or create a successful connection with a woman on this night acting the way he is. Man #2 could be a janitor, yet he is displaying alpha characteristics that make him seem like a person of higher value than Man #1. In fact, you would probably mistake the two and think Man #2 was the billionaire and Man #1 was the janitor.
After doing the mental exercise above, we can see that if you are acting in such a way that gives off the wrong message/vibe about you, it will make others perceive you in the wrong way no matter who you really are; and this can this can hurt your career, social life, and love life, especially.
Below are 14 tips that you can use to display more confidence to others. By doing these things consciously, you can train yourself to display confidence until these techniques become part of you and you actually become confident. But before we get to them, I want to tell you why these things will work by simply doing them. And when you do them, you may feel weird or strange at first; as they will make you feel out of character, but the point of them is to change your current insecure character. You need to rewire your mind/body connection, and in this case, you are using the body to influence the mind.
Sounds like that’s impossible? OK, do this: After reading this sentence, hold a very, very big smile for 30 seconds, and watch how your mood instantly changes! Go ahead, do it.
See! The body can and does effect the mind, and you already know how the mind can affect the body. You know that when you are depressed, or if you think negative thoughts, your body shows it. Just like with the example of Man #1, the mind has its way of expressing itself through the body; but the body too, can influence the mind when it releases hormones and chemicals which it has learned to reward you with by habit. That is why smiling in the exercise above changed your mood because you only really smile when you are happy; thus your body will release the chemicals which actually make you happy when you smile even if you are not actually happy.
Anyway, back to the tips. Just like all skills in life, social skills can be practiced until they become second nature to you. Take these tips and start applying them right after you read this article for the rest of your life.
Alpha speaking tips: When it comes to talking to others, often times, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
1.) Use pauses: Pausing while telling a story or making a statement, is a very powerful way to while speaking tension, reel people into your story, and emphasize the importance of what you are about to say. This is a very powerful technique which will make you an amazing orator. Pauses keep people hanging on wanting to hear more, and they also allow you some time to actually think of ways to say things better.
2.) Speak lough enough: If people can’t hear you, they’ll lose interest quickly because they will not be willing to put much of their energy into someone they do not have deep rapport with. Speaking loud enough so everyone can hear you shows you are in command of your language and are not shy.
3. Speak slowly: Talking too fast and stuttering your words indicates signs of nervousness; unless you are speaking fast to build up momentum like a football coach on the field. So what I mean by speak slowly is to make sure you are speaking at a pace where your audience can keep up and can follow what you’re saying. Doing this shows that you are relaxed, are not rushed, and are in control of the interaction.
4.) Vary your pitch and tone: Put emphasis on certain words that are important, show emotion, and are supposed liven-up the interaction you have with people. A good way to naturally allow you pitch and tone to vary is to let the natural flow of your true emotions come forward within your message so you can inject some passion into your interactions.
5.) Be entertaining: In order to keep people interested, you must be interesting. Talk about things that are thought provoking and evoke people’s emotions. Ask people questions and make the conversation fun. Be animated so interactions with you become an enjoyable experience that people will look forward to having again in the future.
6.) Tell stories: Get people interested in what you’re saying by telling stories about life; particularly funny ones or dramatic ones that elicit emotion. When you have built some good rapport, start telling stories about your own life and experiences to build rapport. Take people for an enjoyable ride and then ask them to tell you some stories about them.
7.) Speak their language: In order get different people to listen and accept your message, you must speak their language and get on their level. Learn how to connect to different groups by learning their lingo. In other words, learn about your audience and then adjust your message accordingly. Doing so will help you build rapport with them by showing them you are familiar with their ways and understand how to connect with them.
Alpha body language tips: As I mentioned earlier in this article, 93% of our communication is non-verbal, so make sure you take these tips below and adjust your physical behavior immediately.
8.) Maintain good posture: Don’t arch your shoulders forward and look like a weakly person; stand straight up, keep your shoulders squared, pop your chest out (not like a weirdo) and keep your chin up. Good posture shows you are healthy, confident, and attentive.
9.) Take up space: Confident people are not afraid to take up space and make themselves at home because it’s in their nature to dominate their surroundings and establish their territory. This does not mean go out of your way and steal people’s space, but to simply occupy untaken space as if it was your home and do so in a relaxed, comfortable manner.
10.) Move slowly: The speed of how you walk, move your hands, and react to things needs to be considered. Fast, jittery movements show signs of nervousness, while slow movements show you are relaxed and in control. This doesn’t mean move as slow as a robot or a hunched-over old man, it means to not be fidgety and easily startled. A person of high value doesn’t get nervous in their environment; they aren’t going to jump out of their seat when someone says “Hi,” because they are used to social interactions and are comfortable dealing with new stimuli. Take your time to process the events going on in your environment; be relaxed, present, and ready to interact with others at your own pace.
11.) Keep your hands visible: Letting others see your hands puts them ease on a subconscious level because it shows the reptilian part of their brain that you are not a threat (unarmed). Putting your hands in your pockets shows that you are nervous, or feel threatened, and will make other people feel awkward around you or perceive you as someone of lower value. The best thing to do with your hands is to use them to illustrate your words while speaking to others.
12.) Touch: Touching people in a non-sexual, non-threatening way shows you are friendly, comfortable, but at the same time, dominant. This combination quickly builds rapport as it will put people at ease. Putting your hands on places such as the shoulders, hands, arms, upper back, and small of the back (women) are key non-sexual spots to get people used to your touch and used to you.
13.) Firm handshake: A firm handshake is a sign of confidence and is a must because it is the “first impression” of your physical dominance when interacting with another person. A weak handshake gives off the impression that you are someone of low value and are easily intimidated by others; whereas a super strong handshake may come off as too try-hard. So the best thing to do when you meet someone with a firm handshake is to match their firmness; which shows mutual respect. However, if someone has a weak handshake, squeeze as you usually would because it’s not your place to lower your standards for someone with no confidence.
14.) Eye contact: While talking to people, make sure you maintain eye when they speak to you. This shows that you are present in the moment with them and giving you undivided attention which is a sign of respect. It also shows you are not shy and will allow others to confide in you. Avoiding eye contact shows you are uncomfortable or uninterested and will make the other person uncomfortable as well.
By following these easy tips, you will notice immediate changes in your day-to-day interactions. People will begin to respond and perceive you differently; even if you aren’t at the level of confidence you wish to achieve… yet. It will take some time and consistent practice to turn these tips into habits, but eventually, they will become second- hand nature to you and will indeed change you as a person.