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When you're nervous, your body tends to tighten up, leading to short stiff movements or fidgeting. By contrast, bigger hand movements while speaking convey confidence (they make you look and even feel more confident.)
An easy way to start exercising hand movements is using the voice rule: simply move your hand in rhythm with your voice.
Reframe success and failure.
Reframe success as doing anything that improves you. So even when you are rejected, as long as you reflect on what went wrong and how you can do better when you're in that situation again, that's a win.
This is the first step of overcoming your fear of being judged by others. Being able to laugh at yourself is a great marker of confidence. And it makes you more fun to be around.
You can start practicing laughing at yourself by sharing embarrassing stories from your distant past. You still get to practice, but without highlighting any flaws you may have in the present.
Showing your palms reveals that you have nothing to hide.
This will also make you feel more confident, by overriding our natural tendency to shrink and close off when nervous.
Echoing a question gives you time to catch up when you are feeling nervous. It's also an easy form of mirroring, which helps you connect with the other person. Because when you repeat someone's words back to them, it can help build feelings of likeability, trust and rapport.
When your mind goes blank during conversations, all your normal wit and charm disappear. The echo technique really helps to buy yourself a few seconds of time to think (in a way that seems unforced).
Social courage is a muscle that is transferable. So if you push your comfort zone even in one area, it will bleed out in all the others.
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