Body language expert Lillian Glass, and author of 'The Body Language Advantage' says that you need to keep your head up at all times. "Confident people are always looking up, never down at the table, the ground, or their feet," she says. "You have to always pretend that there's a string holding the crown of your head up."
One of the ways to maintain confidence is to keep eye contact in social interactions. Maintaining eye contact shows that you are interested and comfortable. You should try keeping eye contact for about 60% of the time. Appear confident by maintaining eye contact in social interactions. If however direct eye contact feels too intimidating, just look at a spot close to the person's eyes.
One way others perceive you is in your posture. Standing up straight will help you project confidence, authority, and poise. On the other hand, slouching makes you look unprofessional and disinterested. Roll both of your shoulders back and avoid looking tense by allowing your upper body muscles back to relax, maintaining firmness in your core.
If you are conversing with someone, leaning forward indicates interest and attention. Although it can be tempting to maintain distance if you are socially anxious, this conveys the message that you are disinterested or aloof.
While you may think that nobody is looking at your feet, the correct stance can demonstrate confidence. This means that standing with your feet too close together can make you appear timid. Generally, aim for a stance that's in line with your hips and shoulders. You also want to keep your feet about a foot apart, pointing outward. "A confident person literally has two feet firmly planted on the ground," Glass says. "You're more balanced physically, and it shows more confidence than if your legs are crossed or together." It is also good to keep in mind the difference between an open and closed stance when talking to someone. Keeping your feet angled outwards and in the direction of the person that you are speaking too shows interest, trust, and receptiveness. Alternatively, a closed stance conveys disinterest.
According to Glass, "Gesturing with your palms up gives the illusion of honesty, and this will make you appear more confident." So aim for broad, smooth motions. This will show composure and poise.
Fidgeting is a sign of anxiety and nervousness. To appear more confident, keep your fidgeting to a minimum and bear in mind that nervous movements draw attention away from what you are saying, making it hard for others to focus on your message.
Keep your hands visible. "Putting your hands in your pockets is one of the worst things you can do if you want to appear confident," says Glass, adding, "Make sure your hands are always visible, never hiding. Putting your hands in your pockets is one of the worst things you can do if you want to appear confident. We hide our hands when we're nervous, so putting your hands in your pockets sends a message that you're uncomfortable or uncertain." Crossing your arms has a similar negative effect, this makes you appear closed off and unreceptive.
Confidence is measured in the way you speak, so it's important to be aware of your mannerisms and tone. According to Glass, "You want to speak while pressing down firmly on your abdominal muscles because you'll have a more confident, lower, more powerful voice. Cut out words such as 'um' and 'like,' and practice being more articulate." She also adds, "Don't run through your words, try to speak precisely and directly," and, "Also, don't be afraid to use inflection in your tone and show enthusiasm, because this shows confidence."
If you want to appear more confident, the best piece of advice you can get is to focus on the people you are engaged with, as opposed to worrying about how others will perceive you. Glass says, "Be more focused on the other person and what message is being communicated than focused on yourself and your self-consciousness."
Fast movements will make you appear more anxious. Notice your hand gestures, your walking stride - all of which can make a difference. So slow down. This will make you feel more confident.
As you slow down, begin to take longer strides as you walk. Confident people take larger steps and walk with authority. Doing so will make you feel less anxious.