Body language can communicate our confidence or lack thereof. This can affect the outcome of a business or social situation at any point in time.
1. Lean forward. When talking to someone –it shows the other person that they have your attention and that you are interested in what they are saying.
2. Shake hands firmly (not bone crushing) at the beginning of any business interaction and at the end – this sets the tone for a professional conversation. Avoid the finger tip grab, wet fish handshake.
3. Walk with confidence. When entering a room or walking with a colleague, use long strides, keep your head high and shoulders square. It will help you feel confident and make a lasting impression.
4. Avoid crossing your arms or legs as this makes you appear defensive and guarded. Sitting or standing with your shoulders straight and your arms relaxed in front of you communicates that you are confident and approachable.
5. Maintain eye-contact with those you are speaking to but don’t stare. Lack of eye contact can mean you lack confidence and are a person not to be trusted. If you are talking to several people, make sure you give them all some eye-contact. This creates a connection and ensures people are listening to you.
6. Nod when others are talking. When others are talking to you, nod occasionally to indicate you are listening to them and understanding what they are saying.
7. Show good posture. Don’t slouch, don’t lie down on. Rather stand with weight equally balanced on both legs and sit up on chair
8. Hand gestures. Stop fidgeting, touching your hair or biting your nails. Use your hands naturally whilst communicating with someone. Be careful of steepling, where the fingers are making a little “roof top” – many lawyers, politicians use this gesture to make them look powerful during negotiations. If you need to gain someone’s trust avoid it – it will make you look arrogant. Don’t hide hands in pockets or behind you – at all times show your hands to gain people’s confidence.
9. Smiling is a universal language. If you smile at 10 people , nine will smile back – use it well and naturally. Smile and laugh when its appropriate. People will be more inclined to listen to you if they think you are a positive person. Smile genuinely when you are being introduced to someone.
“Smile, even if you don’t like it. Your body language helps determine your state of mind.” – Gitte Falkenberg
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