Body Language Basics & Common Mistakes

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June 2011, by Neal Talbot


Your most important body language tool. Our posture tells everyone what we think about ourselves. Someone with a straight back, strong shoulders and slow gestures looks far more attractive than someone with a curved back, slouched shoulders, and sporadic gestures. Strong posture equals strong personality.

Perfect posture is the same for both men and women. Stand with your back straight, shoulders pulled back, chest out, chin up, stomach pulled in, hands at your sides and feet planted squarely on the floor. Use this posture to take up space and make your presence known.

The Talk
When talking, be solid. Lean back slightly like you’re viewing a painting in an art gallery. Being solid shows you’re powerful and confident. Leaning back slightly shows you’re not needy and draws people closer to you. Place one foot slightly ahead of the other, shoulder-width apart, to maintain your balance.

The Walk
An arrogant grace is one of the most effective weapons in the attraction arsenal. With every self-assured step, you give off an aura of confidence, power and sexuality. Eyes from all around the room are drawn to you. Yet, it doesn’t look like you’re trying to attract attention.

A seductive walk is only a couple steps away. Hold your upper body posture, relax your hips and midsection, and then step forward with purpose. Let your hips and upper body swivel slightly with each step. Move like a model on the catwalk, only a half-step slower. Embrace your sexuality. Don’t try to hide it or you’ll come off as stiff or uncoordinated.

Slow down. Calm down. Confident people don’t talk fast. They don’t walk fast. They don’t gesture fast. They always seem more comfortable in their skin than anyone else in the room. Let your hands rest comfortably at your sides. Don’t fidget, rub your hands together or wiggle your leg. Each shows nervousness and insecurity. Keep calm, cool and collected.

Clothes really do make the man or woman. Clothes are a key part of maintaining an image and cementing it into people’s perceptions. If you dress powerful, walk powerful and talk powerful, the assumption is you must be powerful. So dress appropriate for the personality you want to project.


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Muddled words
Keep your hand away from your mouth. It stifles words, is visually unsettling, looks unconfident and is a sign you’re lying.

Nervous is contagious
If you’re nervous talking with someone, they’ll get nervous too. Calm down. Keep your body still. Fidgeting is distracting and a sign of insecurity.

Pocket placement
Keep your hands out of your front pockets. It pulls your shoulders forward, ruining your posture. Put your hands in your back pockets instead.

Poor eye contact
Unnecessarily breaking eye contact can derail an entire conversation. If you can’t hold eye contact you’re seen as aloof, unconfident or uninterested.

Personal space invasion
People have a certain distance they like to keep between themselves and someone new. If you come too close, they will step or lean backwards to maintain a comfortable distance. Only once you’ve gained their trust, can you move into their personal space. This distance is different for each person and situation.