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Monday, September 5, 2011

Body Speaks!!

Did you know that body language accounts for over 90% of a conversation! Body language can be used to help conduct an interview, give a presentation or make that important sale: a conversation stretches so much further than speech.
Body language is the reason why selling face-to-face has a huge advantage over selling by phone.
Usually when we communicate with or see people, we only respond to what is being said, heard or generally seen. There is so much more involved and most of us do not pick up on it: it’s our body language and it can express a thousand words…

  • Posture

  • Relax, don’t be nervous. Maintain a relaxed pose instead of all stiffened up. Avoid or minimize fidgety movement and nervous ticks. Do not shake your leg or tap your fingers against some surface.
  • Don’t slouch or look down constantly. If you are sitting, sit up straight. If you are standing, try not to slouch or look down while talking or listening.
  • Lean, but not too much – If you want to show that you are interested in what someone is saying, lean toward the person talking. If you want to show that you’re confident in yourself and relaxed lean back a bit. But don’t lean in too much or you might seem needy and desperate for some approval. Or lean back too much or you might seem arrogant and distant.
  • The Space Around You
  • Maintain some distance: In many cultures, people get too close or even all touchy feely. If other person starts to step back, you will know that you are invading his/her space. You can lean forward to make a point or listen, but don’t be in other person’s face.
  • Don’t be afraid to take up some space – Taking up space by for example sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin.
  • Hand-to-Face Movements
  • Use your hand gestures to stress your points or opinion but don’t overdo it to the point that your gestures become distraction.
  • Use your hands more confidently instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face use them to communicate what you are trying to say. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. But don’t use them to much or it might become distracting. And don’t let your hands flail around, use them with some control.
  • Gestures
  • Nod when they are talking – nod once in a while to signal that you are listening.
  • Don’t touch your face – it might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation.
  • Keep your head up – Don’t keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon.
  • Slow down a bit – this goes for many things. Walking slower not only makes you seem more calm and confident, it will also make you feel less stressed. If someone addresses you, don’t snap you’re neck in their direction, turn it a bit more slowly instead.
  • Don’t fidget and try to avoid, phase out or transform fidgety movement and nervous ticks such as shaking your leg or tapping your fingers against the table rapidly. You’ll seem nervous and fidgeting can be a distracting when you try to get something across. De-clutter your movements if you are all over the place. Try to relax, slow down and focus your movements.
  • Facial Expression
  • Smile and laugh – lighten up, don’t take yourself too seriously. Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. But don’t be the first to laugh at your own jokes, it makes you seem nervous and needy. Smile when you are introduced to someone but don’t keep a smile plastered on your face, you’ll seem insincere.
  • Eye Contact
  • If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out.
  • Maintaining eye contact when talking (or listening) to someone gives an impression that you/they are confident and honest. Making little eye contact can say that the other person doesn’t like you, is nervous or shy, or perhaps believe that they are higher in status and think that eye contact isn’t necessary.

Body language comes in many forms, as you have seen above. Different people have their own ability to recognize body language and they will recognize it with different meanings to other people. So, when you use body language, one person may see it differently to the other.
When we don’t know someone, we use their body language to get first impressions of them. In most cases, the impressions we make are wrong, as a positive form of body language may mean something negative about them. For example, someone who moves around a lot may be seen as energetic and efficient. In some cases, this may be correct, but it can mean that they are uncomfortable in the situation and also nervous.
Use body language to make you appear more confident, powerful, trusting, etc depending on what the situation may require from you. If you give off negative signs, then it could be the difference of achieving your goal (e.g. a successful presentation, proposing an idea in a meeting, discussing a task with an employee, etc).

Body Language

More PowerPoint presentations from Imprint Training Center

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