Body language speaks loud; some would argue louder than words. How you carry yourself and how you express nonverbal cues, can be quite telling. Matter of fact, it’s a scientifically proven means of communicating all types of messages. Recently, there has been an increase in studies supporting the idea that properly adjusting your body language can actually help ease nerves during important situations – i.e. – meetings with prospective clients.
You don’t want to be too eager, and you don’t want to seem too meek. Exactly what type of message should be conveyed? According to Amanet.org, there are a few simple modifications you can make:
1. Boost your confidence – The quickest way to boost your attitude is to change your posture: hold your head high, tuck your shoulders back, and stand tall. When you do this, you will project confidence the moment you walk into the room.
Another way to increase your confidence – as silly as this may seem – is to head into a bathroom stall, hold up your hands with open palms, spread your feet and breathe. This is a high-power pose, and the longer you stay in it, the more you will trick your body into feeling confident. Your testosterone levels will literally rise, and within a few minutes, your body’s chemistry will change. This will then be portrayed from the moment you step foot into the interview.
Amy Cuddy says “Higher levels of testosterone (in both men and women) lead to increased feelings of confidence. Meanwhile, lower levels of cortisol lead to decreased anxiety and an improved ability to deal with stress.”
2. Participate – Focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention. It’s important to hear people. It’s just as important to make sure they know you are listening.
Eye contact is crucial because it conveys interest. To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color in others.
Also, the amount of time you maintain eye contact with someone can send signals of ambition and confidence. (Now don’t go around staring at your potential clients for long periods of time. Be selective and tasteful.)
3. Shake hands – Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression.
A study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them.
4. Remove barriers – Physical obstructions are especially detrimental to collaborative efforts. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and the rest of the team. This helps your potential client feel more like an equal – which enhances morale.
Remember to be mindful of this tip at all times.
5. Talk with your hands – Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca’s area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we’re talking, but when we move our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as you talk can actually power up your thinking.
Your words are equally as important as your body language. Most people commonly focus on what to say and how to say it. Yet, they don’t realize that it isn’t what you’re saying, it’s what you’re not saying. Be mindful and remember – practice makes perfect.
To view the complete Amanet.org article visit:
To view Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on power posing visit: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are