Confident body language: How to Fake it Until You Make it

Some people look really confident, I’m not saying they necessarily are deep down, but they sell it well, while others look nervous and unsure when that isn’t actually the case.

When I was a newbie graduate I definitely looked nervous and unsure, probably because I was! I would rush around with quick small steps. I remember observing one of the managers in my department one day who I had mistaken for being more senior than she way. I noticed her slow deliberate walk, her casual way of being assertive but not domineering and her relaxed way of talking. In terms of her job, she wasn’t doing anything different to anyone else, but in her manner, she had managed to add credibility to herself and I realised that subconsciously we had all assumed she was more capable. That wasn’t necessarily the case. While I have no doubt she was good at her job, the difference really was that she held herself with confidence while the rest of us had paid no attention to our body language.

If I am honest, I still rush around with quick small steps the only difference is, I am not actually feeling stressed and rushed anymore. It’s just a bad habit. 55% of communication comes from body language. If you don’t have confident body language then you can be great at what you do but still end up looking like a clueless mess!

So, here are four easy ways I've found to hold yourself with confidence.

Stop Moving Around

People who lack confidence and feel uncomfortable tend to be jittery and fidget. If you want to appear calm and in control, you need to stop moving around!

When standing, plant your feet firmly on the ground and evenly distribute your weight. When sitting, sit comfortably back in your seat and either plant your feet firmly on the ground again or cross your ankles loosely.  

Let your hands rest in your lap, hang at your sides or lightly clasp them in front or behind your back. Keep your hands visible rather than stuffing them into your pockets, this shows you aren’t scared, uneasy or secretive. This will let people know you are relaxed and open.

Hold your head high! Nervous people are always looking around and looking down because they feel threatened. Keep your head in one place. Don’t stare at one point like a psychopath but keep your head upright and avoid letting your chin tilt downwards. Focus on what is going on in the room.


When you walk, walk at a steady pace, don’t rush or you end up looking like a timid scurrying mouse! Similarly, when you talk, talk at a steady calm pace. Add pauses in your speech. This will feel unnaturally slow at first and also like everyone is watching you, but a) they aren’t and b) you will get used to it!

Also, don’t feel the need to fill the silence. When there is a pause in conversation it can feel uncomfortable and endless but rather than jumping in and trying to find something to say, let it be. This lets people know you are comfortable with yourself and them.

Express Yourself

Confident people tend to express their emotions. Don’t start telling everyone how bad your day was or how upset you are about the fight you had with your other half but being able to express your thoughts and opinions through your facial expressions or while talking is healthy.

Confident people tend to smile more and share their likes, dislikes and experiences. You can also express yourself using hand gestures. Make sure your gestures are firm and measured don’t be chaotic and all over the place!

Be Assertive

When you talk to people you should look at them directly in the eyes. Make sure you don’t do this aggressively, you want to hold their gaze, smile and talk naturally. When you talk to people make sure you turn your body and face in their direction giving them your full attention. Lean in to show further interest.


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