Powerful, Confident Body Language for Elegant Business Women – Part 1

In the world of body language, we’re often told that if you want to project power and confidence, you need to take up more space. You need to use expansive, open body language movements to claim your place in the world.

While this advice does work, and studies have proven that it works, from my experience working with business women all around the world, it also seems to create a lot of confusion and some resistance.

One question I was asked by a client was: “As a woman, what are the best body language postures to use when you want to portray confidence in an elegant way, without scaring others off?”

And my personal favourite is: “How do you use open body language gestures when you’re sitting down in a skirt?”

So as a woman in today’s business world, I want to give you a few tips about how you can use powerful body language gestures, and still look elegant.

Today’s tips will be about, powerful yet elegant body language gestures you can use when sitting down. You can try out these suggestions at your next business meeting.

Next week I’ll publish part 2 of this blog post and video to give you suggestions about powerful yet elegant body language gestures you can use when standing. Next week’s tips will be handy for your networking events.

How to Convey Power and Elegance While Sitting

For women, a common question we ask ourselves is: How do we use expansive or open body language gestures when we’re sitting down in a skirt? While men may be able to use body language gestures such as sitting with their knees apart or their ankle crossed over their knee, women aren’t left with as many leg choices to portray an equally confident and powerful image. But, we do still have some weapons available and it’s all about focusing on your arms, posture and eye contact instead.

1. Use the Armrests of Your Chair

Extend your forearms along the length of the armrest. Let you hands dangle over the edge. Lean back into your chair to show you’re relaxed, but don’t slouch; confident women always keep their shoulders back and their head high. By placing your arms on the armrests, you take up more space and project confidence.

2. Take Up Space on the Table in Front of You

Place your elbows on the meeting table. Let your forearms stretch across the table directly in front of you. Hold a pen if it feels better, but don’t fidget with it too much. Spread your papers or water bottle on the table to take up even more space. By placing your arms outstretched on the table, you take up space and project confidence. By making your hands visible, you show honesty and assurance.

3. Make Eye Contact With Each Person at the Table

If it’s your turn to speak at a business meeting, keep your head high and while turning your head slowly from left to right, look each person directly in the eye for a couple of seconds while you speak. Solid eye contact when you’re talking shows that you’re comfortable with your opinions and aren’t afraid of others asking you questions. Smiling occasionally will also help you to look friendly and approachable.

I hope you found these tips insightful and useful. If you did, then please share this blog post and video on your favourite social media platform below.

If you want to read the original blog post for this topic, please click here.

Now I’d love to hear from you: What body language posture do you like to use when you want to portray confidence to others?

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About Kara

Kara Ronin is the founder of Executive Impressions. She is an executive coach who specialises in leadership presence, social skills and business etiquette. She is also the creator of Bestselling Udemy course, Business Etiquette 101. Kara’s advice and unique perspectives have been featured in Time Inc., Business Insider, Ignites Europe (a Financial Times Service), The Muse, The Local France, The West Australian, and more. Kara works regularly with lawyers, investment bankers, and finance professionals to help them build presence, authority and influence in business. Get Kara's insights delivered straight to your inbox