How to create positive body language - wrong habits and tips to correct them

Learn to use body language to convey confidence, enthusiasm, dynamism and power. Your body can speak louder than you - learn to use it effectively, to send out messages. Allow non-verbal cues to bring you success and recognition.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say'.

Body language is powerful and unknowing to you; it sends loud messages about what is going on inside you. It displays your thoughts and reactions. Since you remain oblivious of the signals that are body emotes, you fail to notice that your nonverbal communication is stronger than what you say out loud. People often take more notice of your body language than what you say, and that is the reason why they perceive you differently than you expect them to.

To send out positive messages, you need to be in control of your body language - from the way you shake hands, to the way you stand, remember, every action of yours sends out a message. You are sending out signals through non-verbal communication. And, these signals are constantly interpreted by those observing you. Body language is important in every sphere of your life. A positive body language can help you ace an interview, that is how powerful it is.

You need to master the techniques of positive body language and use it to your advantage. The good thing is that you can train yourself to mask emotions and personality and display what you want the world to see, through your body language. Yes, some techniques can help you to be in control of the signals that you are sending out. A little knowledge of how body language works and a little practice getting that language right will make you better at hiding your real emotions and become a better communicator.

Remember, your body language gives away anger, low self-esteem, displeasure etc. If you want to appear strong and confident your body language must match your words of confidence. Here is a lowdown on common poor body language issues and ways to fix them. Enhance your leadership qualities by adopting these simple techniques.

Evading eye contact

Making eye contact is a sign of confidence; you show the opposite person that you are sincere and have nothing to hide. However, when you dodge eye contact when talking to someone or when being spoken to, you send out mixed messages, depending on the situation. Your action can signal a lack of confidence, fear, discomfort and guilt. You come across as a dubious person, not to be trusted. A good way to overcome this is to look the person in the eye. It signals a confident, trustworthy and sincere personality.

Flaccid handshake

A handshake should be brief, but firm. You encourage a connection when you shake someone's hand. A firm handshake translates to an enthusiastic personality and exhibits power, confidence and eagerness. A weak or limp handshake is lifeless, like a drooping flower. There is nothing good and exciting about it. A weak handshake points to a sluggish personality, it shows a lack of zeal, exuberance and dynamism.

Stretch out your hand and grasp the other person's hand firmly, give a slight shake and take away your hand. Do not crush the other person's hand. A handshake is not a show of physical strength. Also, keep your posture erect, make eye contact and smile to come across as powerful and confident.

Poor posture

Drooping shoulders, a slump or a slouch don't signal anything positive about you. People see a sad soul, with low self-esteem, incapable of action. It is an instant put-off as far as gaining the other person's respect or acceptance. Stand tall, with your shoulders pushed back, come across as someone brimming with passion. You immediately make a connection when your body language exudes that kind of power.

Soft, feeble voice

You may deliver the best speech, present the best content, be articulate and knowledgeable and have facts and data on the tips of your finger, but if your voice is weak and feeble, all of it gets sidelined. You do not make that much of an impact because people judge you based on how you deliver as opposed to what you deliver.

That is a hard fact of life. Humans like the packaging, the superficial - and while it is fine to be who you are, you will always get the losing end of the bargain if you don't work on voice modulation. Practice speaking, observe how others speak and pick up tips to come across as reliable and poised - the tone of your voice, your diction and audibility matter. Work on yourself, and you'll shine through each time.

Fake smile

You know a fake smile when you see one. It leaves the lips faster than a blink of an eye. It is insincere, and it is obvious. Greeting someone with a fake smile damages the relationship instantly. It is difficult to connect and coordinate with someone who sees the real you.

Your smile should be genuine, and it should reach your eyes and linger on your mouth. Such a smile spells friendliness and cordiality. Give a real smile whenever possible, and if you are faking it, get it to be as close as the real one. Smile, make eye contact and give a firm handshake. Let the other person see that smile as a genuine gesture.

Wandering eyes

Let your gaze wander, and you show people that you are distracted. Some people have this habit of observing what is going all around when they are in conversation with you. Imagine sitting at a table at a restaurant and your partner looking over your shoulders at what is going on at another table. Even though they are having an animated conversation with you, they are distracted by what is happening elsewhere. Do not be that person; do not allow your attention to wander. When you are with someone give them your complete attention.


How you stand while in conversation signals whether or not you are interested in the conversation. Leaning away signals that you are not fully participating in the conversation. It signals disinterest and distancing yourself from the moment.

The other person picks up this expression and sees it as you not liking them and what they are saying. Overcome this body language flaw by leaning towards the person having a conversation with you. You will come across as genial, even if you are not fully there.

Crossed arms and legs

Crossing your arms and even your legs signals a defensive attitude. It indicates that you are an unwilling participant in the conversation. You come across as uncomfortable in the setting, and that you are either fearful of your surroundings (people included), nervous or just detached. You signal your disinterest and that you do not want to be part of the conversation. Instead, keep your hands where they can be seen, hold a glass or stay still.

Scowling or doing the eye roll

When you openly wear that scowl on your face or roll your eyes, you display annoyance, scepticism and smugness and immediately transmit negative vibes. Even a fleeting grimace is enough to turn tables – the other person sees it and senses what your words don't tell them. Practice wearing a non-committal expression and practice keeping a straight face and nodding your head as you listen to the person speak.

Fiddling with your phone

Checking your phone when someone is talking to you is rude behaviour. Give the person your full attention. The message on the phone can wait. Or be decent, excuse yourself before you check your phone or before returning a text message.

It is best to keep your phone hidden in your bag or pocket. Do not hold it in your hand, where you can be tempted to glance at it. Remember, it is essential to be fully present in a conversation if you want to make a positive impact.

Fidgeting continually

Fidgeting is a sign that you are bored and uninterested in what is happening. Playing with your fingers, tapping your feet and even glancing at your watch signals disinterest.

On the other hand, shaking a leg and rocking can be seen as a sign of nervousness. Similarly, playing with the ring on your finger or the handle of your handbag signals nervousness. Get in control of your body language, so it leaves a positive impression on others. Do you have any tips on positive body language that you'd like to share here?

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