What does swagger look like?

Watching a tennis tournament on TV recently, commentators began talking about whether certain competitors looked like they belonged in the big leagues. Who had swagger? How did they walk? What was on their faces? Who displayed confidence? Their body language reads like they belong.

Conversely, who didn’t look right? Who looked meek or like they lacked confidence? For those of you who follow tennis, why does Roger Federer just LOOK right in 2017? He’s winning again, at 35. (I’ve written about this before, for you super fans.)

That feeling of confidence is great, wonderful. But if you aren’t feeling it, what are the elements that give you that presence? Try these.

• Keep your sternum up and forward. That will make your shoulder blades float down your back, and it will pull your alignment into the correct position.image of woman with proper posture versus slouching

• Think of your spine as having a nice curve but hanging from your neck vertebrae, almost as if suspended from a heavy string at the top of your head.

• Part your lips, not in a cheesy smile, but enough so you could smile if you wanted to, and you should want to, at a moment’s notice.

illustration of man's slightly parted lips


• Make eye contact with your listeners. Look at them. Look away only to briefly check your notes. Talk to your listeners, look at them, gauge if they are with you, and talk to them some more.

illustration of woman's eyes flitting and focusing


• Stand on your own two feet. Do not lean on furniture. Talk without holding pens, legal pads, or other lawyer stuff.

illustration of woman at podium with good posture versus hunched over



• Did I say smile? What could it hurt?