The Definitive Guide to Business

7 body language tricks to exude confidence

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In business, appearance matters — and that includes how you carry yourself.

Here are seven body language tricks powerful business leaders use to radiate confidence.

— By Marguerite Ward
Posted 14 Sept. 2016

1. Make eye contact

Warren Buffett
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"When someone is talking to you, make sure you look them in the eye," said career coach Becky Berry. "If you're uncomfortable looking them in the eye, look at their nose or ears."

Looking down or looking around makes you look nervous, she said.

2. Talk with your hands

Sheryl Sandberg
Jerod Harris | WireImage | Getty Images

"Power is communicated by gestures," said Patti Wood, a body language expert and author. "Research shows that charismatic leaders use gestures four times as often as others do when they talk."

3. Sit upright

Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard
Andrew Burton | Getty Images

"People who are confident sit up straight and tall," Berry said. "Keep your head up."

4. Stand up straight

Marcus Lemonis
Christopher Polk | NBC | NBCU Photo Bank | Getty Images

"When you hold or move your body the way you would like to feel, the posture actually sends a message to the brain: 'Hey, I am feeling great, positive and up,'" Wood said.

Standing tall with your head held high automatically makes you feel more confident, she said.

5. Don't fidget

Shark Tank
Michael Desmond | ABC | Getty Images

"Fidgeting implies nervousness," Berry said. "If you must fidget, try to do it below your desk."

And "whatever you do, don't make noise while fidgeting," she added.

6. Don't cross your legs

Carol Loomis
Paul Morigi | Fortune | Time Inc | Getty Images

"Women, don't cross your legs at the knee," Berry said. "It cuts off your power center and puts you at a disadvantage. Instead, sit with your feet side-by-side."

7. Loosen up your vocal chords

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"We tend to tighten the vocal chords when we are tense, and the high, sometimes screechy sound does not sound powerful," Wood said. "Bring down your voice."

"Talk in a conversational tone," Berry said. "People who can control their voices look like leaders."