Here is a somewhat surprising statistic, only 7% of communication is transferred through the spoken word or whatever is actually said. The rest is transferred through the tone of your voice and your body language - as much as 55%! That makes it a great area for personal development.

Improving your body language can reduce the amount of mixed messages that you send out, improve the clarity of your message, can make you appear more confident,more attractive, improve your first impressions and can even make you feel better. With the importance of positive body language in mind here are a few tips to improve your body language:

1) Make use of your hands. Some people find it difficult to know what to do with their hands. Don't constantly fidget with them for no reason touching your face and so on, but do use them to add purpose and clarity to your words. I hate to say it but some politicians are excellent at communicating and often use their hands to emphasis certain points, Check them out next time you see an interview.

2) Move at a relaxed steady pace. Moving too fast can make you seem nervous and unconfident. Learn to slow down a bit, it will make you both feel less stressed and more confident at the same time.

3) Smile and laugh when possible, not for no reason of course but to show that you are a positive person, this will make you feel more relaxed and show that you are a more positive person to deal with.

4) If possible avoid touching your face as this can make you seem as though you are hiding something or make you feel nervous.

5) To increase your appearance of self-confidence you can literally take up more space for yourself. Sit with legs/arms slightly apart in a relaxed manner. This naturally makes you appear more confident.

6)Loosen your shoulders to also increase the sense of self-confidence. It is easy to detect someone feeling uncomfortable when their shoulders are hunched and tense. Relax, drop the shoulders and you will automatically feel more relaxed.

7) Avoid crossing your arms and legs this can give the impression that you are being defensive and even negative.

8) Respond naturally to the flow of conversation by nodding when appropriate. This doesn't mean bowing at the end of every sentence, you only want to acknowledge that you are still listening.

9) Make eye contact with the people you are communicating with. You don't have to eyeball them or stare, just maintain a reasonable level of eye-contact that feels comfortable.

10) Avoid slouching or sitting upright. Either one of these will make you appear to tense or too relaxed, whilst also not being comfortable for a long period of time.

11) If you wish to show particular interest in a subject then lean forward towards the speaker or even move forward in your chair slightly. Sitting way back in your chair and leaning backwards may be read as being uninterested and possibly even arrogant.

12) Avoid holding anything between yourself and the person you are talking too, similarly as folding your arms it can make you appear distant and guarded. You could hold a drink to your side or at least lower than your chest level.

13) Keep your head raised and don't let it drop, this is one of the clearest indicators of confidence levels. Don't look at the
ceiling but do keep your chin up somewhat.

14) Respect personal space. You probably don't feel comfortable when someone comes and stands so close to you so use the same measure of distance when approaching someone else.

Finally a little tip for interviews...mirror body language. This is an excellent way of building up a silent rapport with someone whilst they are talking and can help you get off on the right foot with people.

With all the above tips, do what feels natural and don't overdo anyone thing. Try and improve just one piece of body language consciously each per day you may be surprised just how much clearer and better able you can communicate your point with just a little attention to personal development. Go ahead have a go!

Author's Bio: 

Author Tim Ryan provides FREE guidance and training on the power of positive thinking. View personal development articles, profiles, tips and more by simply clicking: Personal Development or Positive Thinking now.