Because you are nervous in front of people, they may think that you are shy, that you are lacking confidence in yourself or that you do not like them. Feeling nervous in front of people is normal and may actually be a sign that you care and want to appear your best before them. What you say to people is important, but do not underestimate your body gestures and facial expressions. James Dyer, an associate professor at the University of Florida, explains that nonverbal communication accounts for approximately 93 percent of the communication process. Improving attitude, posture and poise can help you feel calmer and appear more confident.
Believe in what you are saying or what you are doing. Do not try to impress anyone. The more convinced or passionate you are, the more confident you will feel, and the less you will care about what people think of you. Also, the more you are into what you say, the more your body will show it in a positive manner.
Prepare a few jokes or a few entertaining stories that can relax you and other people. Telling jokes make people think you are under control, and it will give you a breather when you feel like stuttering or losing it. In addition, sharing a good laugh will make you forget about your nervousness.
Take a few deep breaths, and relax each muscle in your body, one by one. Roll your shoulders, and roll your head in front of you and to the sides. Drink some chamomile tea before meeting people or while socializing, and avoid any coffee or sweets because they will make you jittery.
Dress comfortably. Choose the outfit in which you feel the most comfortable. People notice how comfortable or uncomfortable you seem, and they associate your ease with your body movements. If you make people uncomfortable, you will feel more uncomfortable, too.
Do not make direct eye contact with people. While socializing, keep moving your eyes around. If you need to look at someone, look in the direction of her forehead; she will not see the difference. Never look down because people will think you are trying to hide something from them. If you are unaware of people’s movements, you will be less inclined to take it personally. You might even make other people focus on someone else or on an object while you talk.
Improve your posture and poise. Smile. A sincere smile is relaxing for both you and others. Stand straight and tall. Your body posture will inspire confidence and trust. Walk confidently. When you walk, count to two quickly before starting a second step. Good posture and poise reassure your mind that you are at the right place at the right time and that you are worthy of facing people. You are making your presence felt.
Imagine yourself in the shoes of another person. You might think that people know that you are nervous and that they can see through you, but you are wrong. No matter how strong your feelings or powerful your ideas, you need a means of communication to pass them on, such as your voice or body gestures. People will perceive you as being less nervous than you really are.