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.
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.
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.