Speaking too quickly or in a low tone of voice can make you appear less than confident. It also leaves you vulnerable to saying things you don’t mean or slipping up with verbal nonsense. The solution to these problems is to speak slowly and clearly. Take your time with your sentences–it will give you time to come up with better word choices and will make you seem more confident at the same time. Practice articulating your words clearly and in a loud voice so you’re used to the approach.

5. Allow silences.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of silence. Too many people denounce the “awkward silence” as the indicator of a bad conversation, but it’s actually a useful and necessary social tool. Use silences to your advantage; for example, you can end an important sentence with a long pause to let it sink in. You can allow a beat in the conversation between the other person speaking and you speaking to show that you really listened. Silences allow for consideration, and they show that you’re confident in your speaking abilities. Don’t neglect them.

6. Keep your hands visible.

Your hands say a lot about you, whether you realize it or not. Keep them visible and marginally active in the conversation. For example, you can gesticulate your words with a few deliberate actions–just don’t go crazy and violate rule number three. You could also use your hands to offer occasional moments of touch if the situation warrants it. It’s also important not to hide your hands by stuffing them in your pockets or folding your arms. Keep them visible to appear more confident.

7. Take big steps.

This one comes into play when you enter, exit, or move around in a room. Take wide, surefooted steps with every move, rather than quick, hurried, or frantic steps. Don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere, and remember to keep your body posture aligned. This slow, deliberate series of movements will make you appear confident, so much so that people several yards away from you will be able to pick up on it.