Body Language

  • How Your Body Language Affects Others (and You)

    Ever thought about your body language and what it’s saying to others?

    Think of the most charismatic or engaging person you know and ask yourself, what is it that makes people so drawn to them? Is it their smile? Their outgoing personality or sense of humour perhaps? This may surprise you, but it’s actually their body language.

    The wallflower doesn’t stand out

    One thing is for sure, they’re not the wallflower that fades into the background feeling unsure of themselves. (Not that I have anything against wallflowers – in fact, I spent most of my life as one and if you’re an introvert, you’ve likely spent time on the wall too.)

    Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash body language

    Big and small matters y’all

    We innately get bigger in our bodies when we feel a sense of pride or accomplishment, but get smaller in our bodies when we feel defeated, insecure or ashamed and this sends a strong message to others.

    To look and feel confident, your body language must show it.

    Body language hack #1

    The easiest way for you to portray confidence is to own the space around you by standing or sitting tall. Keep your arms loose and relaxed by your side or place hands on your hips. Relax your shoulders and open up across your chest. These expansive postures will show others that you’re sure of yourself. Beware of low power postures, such as crossing your arms or turtling your shoulders to your ears as this can signal defeat and give the wrong impression to those around you.

    I’ve written another blog about body language and confidence that you can read here:

    Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash body language power pose

    Body language hack #2

    Confident people also know the power of eye contact. To increase your confidence, be sure to look people in the eye as you are speaking AND as they are speaking. Too often we look away, check our phone or scope out the rest of the room. This is not only rude, but very low confident.

    Think eyes are the windows to the soul? Check out this article on that includes a quiz to see how good you are at reading the eyes.

    Photo by Andrii Podilnyk on Unsplash eye contact body language

    Body language hack #3

    Be mindful of the way that you carry yourself. Pay attention to how you walk, sit and stand and how you move through space. Whether you’re at home alone or at a social gathering, this awareness sends a powerful nonverbal cue. Carry yourself with pride in an open posture as mentioned above. When you do this, you look incredibly focused, confident, put together and charismatic.

    Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash body language

    Your body language affects you and it affects the people around you. It sends powerful cues to others and it’s something that you can adjust in the blink of an eye.

    What could be better than that?


  • What Richard Branson’s Body Language Told Me About Him

    What Richard Branson’s Body Language Told Me About Him

    I tuned into BT this morning (Breakfast Television for those of you reading this who aren’t from Ontario, Canada) to see how the Raptors made out last night. I’m not a huge basketball fan but when our country has made it this far into the finals, you gotta jump on the bandwagon.

    BT Hosts Dina Pugliese and Roger Peterson
    BT Hosts Dina Pugliese and Roger Peterson

    When I heard Dina Pugliese mention that Richard Branson was about to make a huge announcement on the next segment, I said to my husband, “I wonder what he’s doing in Toronto?”. Turns out he was announcing, or rather introducing, the captain of his new cruise ship – a female, and a Canadian! Both very cool, in my opinion.

    Photo credit –

    What I Knew About Richard Branson Before Watching Him On BT

    I knew two things about Richard Branson.

    1. He’s famous
    2. He’s a billionaire

    Make that three. I know he owns Virgin. That’s really all I know about the man. I don’t even know what Virgin is aside from a mobile company and a cruise ship line. This blog isn’t about what he’s known for, or at least, what I know about him. It’s about the amazing fact I discovered about him this morning, and then confirmed with a quick google search.

    Within the first two seconds of watching the interview on BT this morning, his body language conveyed something astounding about him.

    What Sir Richard and I Have in Common

    “OMG, He’s an introvert!” I blurted out to no one in particular, although my husband was right beside me.

    Image result for Richard Branson
    Image result for Richard Branson
    Photo credit:

    Why was I shocked by this revelation?

    I would never have expected someone of his fame, fortune and sheer genius to be an innie like me. Although, now that I think about it, many visionaries are indeed introverts.  We’re naturally inclined to spend much time of our time in our head imagining, daydreaming and often catastrophizing. When I went back and watched the video again while writing this blog, I saw that he evens talks about being 27 and envisioning a cruise line for 30 year olds. As the years passed, the age increased as he joked about, but he’s making it happen. Talk about the power of visualization! Clearly Sir Richard has harnessed the power of his imagination for the good.

    As a proud introvert, I’m aware of a handful of famous people that share this personality trait and I’m always pleasantly surprised to find living examples of people who appear to live in the limelight but actually reside in the quiet of an introverted world.

    What Richard Branson’s Body Language Told Me About Him

    If you’ve read this far, you’re likely asking, “OK Jen, so what did you see?” Well, I’m glad you asked. There were a couple of dead giveaways and this is precisely why I geek out on body language science and the human behaviour behind it. Especially when it comes to introverts because I know the struggle.

    1. His posture – he didn’t take up space the way I’d assume someone of his caliber to. I’m in no way questioning his caliber (obviously, I mean, it is Sir Richard Branson afterall!) However, I could tell he was slightly uncomfortable with the interview, for whatever reason. We of the innie nature prefer not to be the center of attention and tend to fall to the “less is better” mindset, whether it’s with our body positioning or our words.
    2. His hands – they were clasped together on his lap, and even between his legs at one point. He did do some gesturing with his hands to further illustrate what he was saying, but then his hands would return to a more comfortable position for him. As introvert’s, we love, love, LOVE to share what we’re passionate about, yet hate to take up people’s time or feel we’re imposing in any way. Another key point with his hands was that he was rubbing them on his legs intermittently. This is done to calm nerves and/or anxiety and is known as self-soothing.

      Richard Branson on BT Toronto
      Richard Branson on BT Toronto
    3. His words – Although everything he said was right on point with the purpose of the interview, our body language makes up 60-93% of our communication and is 12-13 times more powerful than what we say. So a lot of what was conveyed wasn’t through his words, but even the hand on the captain’s (Wendy Williams) shoulder as he talked about her spoke volumes about his genuine fondness and respect for her. Introvert’s (and most people for that matter) communicate more fluently when not in an interview or a stress inducing interaction (which being the center of attention often is for introverts as mentioned above).
    4. His exit – CLASSIC introvert move…a unique and unusual end to a conversation. It’s one of my greatest struggles – how to end a conversation. It always feels uncomfortable because I’m never sure when the best time is to end and interaction. I laughed out loud when he walked in front of the camera, and even harder when host Roger Peterson says laughing, “I don’t think we’ve ever ended an interview this way! Check out the look on Roger’s face – it’s called a surprise microexpression lol.
    Richard Branson Interview on BT Toronto
    Richard Branson Interview on BT Toronto
    Click on either picture for the link to the video

    Why He’s My New Favourite Person

    The moment I realized that he was an introvert, my heart lept with joy. Sounds cheesy but it’s totally true.

    To see a man of his fame and fortune show the world that he’s indeed just like the rest of us makes my heart smile. He’s an inspiration to millions and which will now include a collective of introverts who dream the way he does, but didn’t believe they could accomplish what he has, until the moment they saw this interview.

    For all of my fellow innies, I raise my coffee cup to you, and in the name of Sir Richard Branson, for inspiring those of us struggling to make our way in the extroverted world we live in.


  • Increase Your Confidence by Tapping Into the Power of Body Language

    Tap Into the Power of Body Language to Increase Your Confidence

    let go of what's holding her back

    Is something holding you back when it comes to feeling and looking confident? What if I told you there’s an easy way to boost your confidence? A pain-free, drug-free, cost-free way to change your thoughts, your feelings and your physiology.

    From Shy Girl to Own Your Damn Self Girl

    I grew up shy and introverted, darn near afraid of my own shadow. I longed to feel comfortable in my own skin and experience the joy of the ever elusive confidence code. Everyone else around me appeared to have been given the combination I somehow missed out on. Fast forward to last year when I signed on with Vanessa Van Edwards and her Science of People team to become certified as a Body Language Trainer. I couldn’t have known how one decision would change the trajectory of my life.

    What Changed for Me?

    Everyone has experienced confidence at some point in their life. It may feel like those experiences were few and far between but that’s only because you’ve trained yourself to dismiss them. It’s basic programming. If you suffer from a lack of confidence, it’s largely because you’ve trained yourself to focus on situations when/where you didn’t feel confident, and then you end up feeling like those far outweigh the former. You’re definitely not alone in this and it’s definitely holding you back from showing the world the beautiful, awesome, confident & capable person that you really are.

    Through body language training, I learned to create confidence (yes, you can learn to create it on demand) and I learned to tap into my confidence (yes, you do have it and yes, you can learn to tap into yours too).

    It all comes down to two things; your body and your mind. Super shocker there, right!?


    What’s Holding You Back

    Your body and your mind, or your actions and your thoughts, or your movement and your mindset – whatever way you want to look at it – that is what’s holding you back. One could argue that those two things are behind everything you achieve, or don’t achieve, in your life, but we’ll apply it to your level of confidence for today.

    We all talk to ourselves (as many as 50,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day) and if those are critical and negative, you’re definitely holding yourself back. Just think of how much you could accomplish if you’re thoughts were predominantly positive!

    YOUR FIRST STEP in letting go of what’s holding you back is to take stock of how friendly that voice in your head is. Pay attention to it and start to interrupt it and replace it with positive thoughts. If that’s a stretch, at least go for a neutral replacement thought. It takes practice like anything else, especially if you’re spent a lifetime of not paying attention to how you talk to yourself.

    THE SECOND STEP is to pay attention to what your body is doing, otherwise known as your body language.

    Tap Into the Power of Your Body Language

    One of the easiest and most powerful tools that I use to let go of what’s holding me back is…..drumroll please… posture.

    Carrying yourself in a certain way (shoulders back, abdomen in, spine aligned) exudes confidence and an affable demeanour. Compare that image to the posture of (most of us) slouched over our cell phones, appearing apathetic and bored. And we spend so much of our time in this position!!!

    slumped body language

    A study in Health Psychology found that people who feel stressed can kick their negative mood and even boost their self-esteem by sitting upright. Other research found that good posture was associated with better body image among people with depression. (*I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression in the past and I can attest to posture being an easy go-to to help shift how I’m thinking and feeling.)

    It’s the easiest tool I know to help you with your confidence and it works regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing.

    YOU Are What’s Holding You Back

    Not intentionally, perhaps, but it definitely comes down to you. Your thoughts and your actions are both well within your control. Before you get upset with me, I know that it is not at all easy to get control of your thoughts (I’ve battled many, demons and they were ALL in my own head – anxiety & depression, remember?) That’s precisely how I know what I’m talking about. The good news is, you can learn to take control over your thoughts, and even easier, take control over your body.

    Use your body to interrupt the self-limiting thoughts.

    If you spend way too much time in your head ruminating and over thinking, it’s supremely difficult to get ahold of your train of thought when it’s ferociously derailing. This is how, and why, adjusting your posture is so effective. Get out of your head and into your body.

    Feeling unmotivated, sad, discouraged, afraid? Sit up straight, lift your chin, pull your shoulders back and for heaven’s sake, soften your jaw! We hold sooo much tension in our jaw and in our shoulders. Now just take a moment and really pay attention to how much better this feels than slouched over.

    Now keep doing it. Keep coming back to it. As often as you think of it, straighten up. Even if you’re just watching tv, or driving somewhere.

    Continuously checking in on your posture is a game changer!

    As much as I’d love to, I can’t snap my fingers and give you confidence. But YOU can develop it. Keep practicing it. Work on changing how you hold your body in any and all situations. You don’t get a six-pack by doing one sit up. Like any other muscle you work to develop, using your posture to your advantage takes practice, but it’s the easiest thing with the greatest leverage I’ve ever found.

    Try it out and let me know how it worked for you!


    Jen xo