Finding Your Power Pose: Owning Your Body Language in the Workplace

For women in professional settings, navigating the landscape of communication can be a complex dance. While your skills and qualifications are undeniable, sometimes unspoken cues can hold you back. This is where the power of body language comes in. Projecting confidence through nonverbal communication is a powerful tool that can elevate your presence and influence in the workplace.

Why Body Language Matters

Studies have shown that body language can account for a significant portion of how we are perceived by others. In a professional setting, confident body language can be misconstrued as competence, leadership potential, and trustworthiness. It allows you to command attention, effectively deliver ideas, and inspire those around you.

Mastering the Art of Posture

The foundation of confident body language starts with strong posture. Imagine a straight line running from the crown of your head down through your spine. Stand tall with your shoulders back and relaxed, not hunched. Avoid fidgeting or swaying, and plant your feet shoulder-width apart for a stable base. When seated, maintain good posture by keeping your back straight and avoiding slouching. Remember, taking up space doesn’t equate to aggression; it signifies that you deserve to be heard and have value to contribute.

The Power of Eye Contact

Making strong eye contact demonstrates that you are engaged, present, and confident. A wandering gaze can suggest nervousness or disinterest. Aim to hold eye contact for a comfortable amount of time while someone is speaking, and make eye contact with various people throughout a conversation or meeting. This doesn’t mean staring them down – a friendly and steady gaze is key.

Nonverbal Communication Beyond Posture and Eye Contact

Confident body language extends beyond just posture and eye contact. Here are some additional tips:

  • Use open gestures: Avoid crossing your arms or legs, which can create a closed-off impression. Instead, use open hand gestures to emphasize your points and showcase approachability.
  • The “Power Pose”: Amy Cuddy’s famous TED Talk introduced the concept of the “power pose” – standing tall with your hands on your hips or in a victory pose. Taking a power pose for even a few minutes before a meeting or presentation can boost your confidence levels.
  • Smile strategically: A genuine smile is a disarming and approachable gesture. However, avoid an overly enthusiastic or nervous smile, which can be seen as inauthentic.


Authenticity is key. Don’t try to mimic someone else’s body language; cultivate a style that feels comfortable and natural to you. Confidence comes from within, and owning your body language is a powerful way to project that inner strength in the workplace. By mastering these simple techniques, you can step into your power and ensure your voice is heard loud and clear.