I’ve had a few positive comments and dozens of views on a blog I wrote in July called How to Be Brave. The gist of it was that it’s possible to overcome the feeling of fear by first of all acting as if you were not afraid. If you can put on a good enough act, then the feelings will fall into place afterwards.

While teaching a course in non-verbal communication recently, a thought struck me. How do you act in a brave or fearless manner? Which specific types of body language can help us out here?


This is the most powerful piece of body language available to us! As that well-known psychologist Greta Garbo said, “Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening”. Smiling gives you great power over yourself and others.

Raise your Chin

If you are feeling down, raise your head and hold it in an upright position for a few moments. Notice how your mood will shift almost immediately.

Maintain Eye Contact

When you hold someone’s gaze it means that you are in control, assertive, even challenging. Narrow your eyes to be seen as strong and dominant. Move your gaze smoothly and deliberately. Of all bodily signals, the eyes reveal emotions the most accurately.

Be Still

Small, inconsequential gestures show discomfort, inner turmoil or frustration. Eliminate these micro-gestures by taking action to solve the problems, or learning to be still by shifting your energies to thought. Stillness and quiet signal to others that you are in control, and that it is up to them to make the move.

Stand straight

Posture reflects self-image, confidence, role and emotional state. As Ray Birdwhistell noted, “A person’s posture reflects their past. People who have experienced long-term depression may slouch and drag their bodies around, whereas people who have a positive outlook tend to hold themselves upright.”.

Walk Tall

However you walk, you are being true to your internal rhythms and feelings. By choosing to walk in a certain way you are presenting an image you want other to believe. Quicken your tempo to increase your energy. Or slow it down to show deliberation. Whatever you do, choose it.

Expand Out

Take up space and look as though you are conformable in it. Don’t shrivel up or cringe when others look at you. Hold your arms away from your body and your elbows slightly out from your sides. Plant your feet slightly apart. Be significant!

Pump it Up

The volume that is. If you talk quietly you will ignored, you will sound unsure or others will talk over you. Don’t be afraid to hear yourself speak. I don’t mean that you should scream or resemble a fog-horn. But try raising your voice a little and you will more easily get the attention and time of others.

Try them out. They actually work. I dare you! And, if you need help putting this all in practice, get in touch.

Photo by Nadim Merrikh on Unsplash