Your non-verbal communication which is more frequently but narrowly referred to as body language, is a universally overlooked area to improve your confidence in communication and general self-perception. The majority of people aim to build their confidence but rarely consider the power of communicating confidence non-verbally.
If you'd like to improve your confidence around women then you have even more reason to read this article. Women love a confident man and they are extremely adept in picking up non-verbal signals. They will pick-up your non-verbal signals that you wouldn't even have a clue about.
You need to have high self-awareness in order to be aware of your body language. It's a matter of knowing what you do in certain situations. When you have poor body language others can see fear in you.
Here are four examples of body language that is counter-productive in developing confidence and how you can solve them to not only communicate more powerfully but to internalize the confidence:
Good eye contact will show the person you are listening and that you are interested in what they have to say. However, you can have too much of a good thing. Excessive eye contact is non-verbal aggression. Dr. Peter Andersen, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Body Language, says you will make the other person feel comfortable with about 60% eye contact.
With practice I found that you will develop an intuition or 'gut-feeling' when you make the other person uncomfortable. As an example when you make to much eye contact, they'll begin to not make eye contact with you or maybe fidget. At the moment, too much eye contact probably isn't your concern as you're trying to develop confident body language but you still should be aware of the problems with excessive eye contact.
What did you feel when someone shook you're hand with a soft handshake? I bet you wondered if they cared about you at all or if they lacked confidence to show this concern. This is a 'girly touch'. A good handshake depends on the receiving person. Most of the time you want a firm handshake but occasionally with say the elderly you don't want to be crushing their hand! When greeting ladies be aware that they don't have gigantic and hard hands like many men so just go a little less firm. A firm handshake shows you care and is an initial way of communicating confidence when meeting someone.
An excellent example of this that I can remember is two Australian Politicians on October 8th, the eve of the 2004 federal election. John Howard was greeted by opposition leader Mark Latham aggressively. While Mark Latham did pull John Howard towards him when shaking hands (aggressive haptics), Latham made his body position aggressive by being extremely close and towering over the shorter John Howard. Despite this, Mr. Howard non-verbally stood his ground in confidence by continuing the handshake and smiling towards the cameras. I'm sure John Howard would have felt uncomfortable but he still gave out signs of confidence.
It was said Latham attempted to get revenge for Howard squeezing his wife's hand too hard at a press function which I found to be funny! If only they were both able to read this!
The psychological effect of poor posture is poorer confidence. Using arguably the world's best golfer Tiger Woods as an example, he's taught to maintain good posture as he approaches each shot. By having good posture he is able to breathe correctly and physically get his body into the right state of confidence. From this his mind is able to focus on the shot ahead.
I know once golfer's lose this state of confidence through poor posture, the affects are surprisingly strong. The golfer's chest begins to tighten and everything heightens. They then lose their state of control, calmness, and confidence causing poor performance.
The same relates to everyday life. To practice a confident posture, roll your shoulders forward, upwards, and then back down to almost complete a circle. Watch your shoulders as you rotate them and if they are behind to what they were prior to doing the activity and you are comfortable, you've done the activity correctly.