10 Body Language Techniques to Make You Succeed in Business

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10 Body Language Techniques to Make You Succeed in Business

Every good businessperson knows that what you say has never been as important as how you say it. Even when you are not speaking, you are still communicating, even if you are not aware of it. By becoming aware of your body language and what you are saying with it, you can begin to control it and put forward the impression that will most help you in your business. By using these techniques you will save yourself time – and ensure that you succeed.

10. Use Eye Contact

Meeting someone’s eyes has long been seen as a mark of honesty and good faith. This does not mean that you should enter a staring contest: maintaining too much eye contact can seem aggressive, and unless that’s something you want to achieve, it should be avoided. Make sure that you do not look away as someone is speaking about something they feel is important, as this is a sign that you are dismissing their opinion.

9. Develop Good Posture

Hunching your shoulders forward or holding your arms in across your chest can make you seem defensive and intimidated. Shoulders should be held back, with your arms hanging loosely by your sides. This open posture makes you seem relaxed and confident.

8. Cultivate a Good Handshake

Entire books have been written about the importance of a good handshake. Whether or not any of the analysis on what different kinds of handshakes mean is true, what is important is that many people believe a handshake can tell a lot about a person. The best handshakes are firm without being crushing, brief but not terse, and of course, free from nervous sweat. To create a good first impression, ensuring you have a good handshake could be crucial.

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7. Keep Eyes Level

Looking upwards or to the side before you speak or as you’re speaking can make people suspicious of your integrity. Some people believe that these are signs of lying and indicate that you are fabricating elements of your story. Make sure to keep eyes level when speaking, to avoid this suspicion – otherwise everything that you are saying could be going to waste.

6. Take Ownership of Space

When you have established a position in the room, consider it to be your territory. You can expand this territory and appear more in control and powerful by widening your stance or moving around the room. If someone attempts to invade your space, don’t allow them to intimidate you into moving or diminishing your presence.

5. Never Fidget

Fidgeting, whether by tapping on a table with your fingers, shredding paper, stroking hair, doodling or tapping your foot, is a cardinal sign of nervousness or boredom. It’s associated with displacement activity, where someone tries to distract themself from an uncomfortable thought or situation. When fidgeting, you not only look unsure and nervous, you also appear as if you are not giving the situation your full attention.

4. Establish Authority Before You Smile

You can use a smile to convey that you are pleased or to attempt to please others. You can use a delayed smile to show that you are confident, in control and expect to be pleased rather than please. By waiting to smile until you are confident that you have been noticed in the meeting or other business facility, you show that you bestow your smiles as you see fit.

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3. Move Confidently

The way that you move speaks volumes about your confidence and how people will perceive your capability. Don’t hesitate in your movements or you will appear as if you second guess yourself. Should something go wrong and you trip, stumble, or accidentally collide with someone, make sure to brush it off; you will appear much more confident than if you become angry or overly embarrassed.

2. Position Yourself Appropriately

When you are speaking to someone, make sure that you are neither too far away from them nor too close. Leaning in indicates interest, but move too far into someone else’s personal space and they will feel nervous and under siege. Leaning away will show that you have heard enough and is a non-verbal way to quieten an overenthusiastic speaker.

1. Control Your Facial Expressions

Your face is where most people will be looking when they are speaking to you. If you are unaware of your expressions, you may give away more than you intend to. Twisting your mouth or pursing your lips may give the impression that you are holding something back. A smile shows that you are pleased, while you may be unaware of a slight frown that shows that you are unsure of what you’re saying.

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  • March 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you, Julian — these are some great tips. I think that eye contact (#10) is just so important in and outside of business. When people don’t look at you when you’re talking to them, it can give you the impression that they don’t care about you’re saying or that they just lack confidence.

  • March 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Great post Julian! I have selected it as part of my Rainmaker ‘Fab Five’ blog picks of the week (http://www.maximizepossibility.com/employee_retention/2011/03/the-rainmaker-fab-five-blog-picks-of-the-week-2.html) to share with my readers.

    Be well!

  • jt
    April 9, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Wow,while we’re doing the whole Machievelli thing we might as well just burn their huts,steal their cattle and rape their women to really establish our dominance,yeah?

    How about just being real and transparent and treat others as you would like to be treated? If people smell someone playing power trip games like this they inwardly say,’Oh,Its THAT guy….’

  • April 21, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Thanks so much Julian. I wrote about speech habilities a pair of weeks ago (http://lachachapaka.com/elblog/2011/04/05/como-mantener-una-conversacion/) I told eye contact is important if you want to say/sell because you show your confidence by your eyes, but I let the “Eyes level” behind…. and that’s a good point. I think I’m gonna re-write my article because of yours.
    Thanks so much…again!!!

  • April 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Thank you. Excellent lkst of recommendations.

  • June 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Not a bad write up. Its important to point out that dealing with other cultures in different countries plays an important role in understanding their business etiquette also if trying to win business.
    If you are running a sales training day, enter the room last, it will show authority and you get a better response than if you are standing in the room waiting for the sales reps to come in.

  • August 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Some amazing tips and something I’m sure I will put into good use today :-)

  • April 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

    As a woman in the field of business, I live by the tips you have listed. It’s really true that ‘what you say has never been as important as how you say it.’ To be successful, it is always important to have confidence. Eye contact, good posture, and everything else will follow.

    Business Communication

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