Do you realise that 60 to 90 per cent of our communication is done via body language? To top this off, first impressions matter. A lot. A person can form an assessment of you within seconds. So when walking into that big business meeting, or to pitch a client, or even on a first date, be sure to align your body language in such a way that it shows your confidence.
Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to creating a better impression using body language:
Standing Straight- This may seem obvious, but it is important to keep in mind. First things first, you must stand up straight, and not slouch. Walk into the room, with your posture upright and like you are confident to be there. If nothing else, follow this rule.
So if we adopt power poses, we can feel much more powerful. In other words, you can fake it till you make it
Strike power poses- A popular Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy speaks about power poses and how they can even make one feel powerful. She says that when one feels powerful, one expands, takes up a wider stance and is more open with one’s body. But when one feels powerless (and she notices this more amongst her female students), then one collapses into oneself, and makes oneself small. She says, however, that our bodies can also change our minds. So if we adopt power poses, we can feel much more powerful. In other words, you can fake it till you make it.
Maintain eye contact- Even if you are uncomfortable doing this, make sure you do, because lack of eye contact makes it seem like you are suspicious, uninterested or not confident. On the other hand, eye contact that is too intense will make it look like you are too aggressive.
Stay still and calm- Fumbling and fidgeting too much sends the message that you are nervous. So anytime you find yourself playing with your hands, or fidgeting with your hair, take a breath and re-adjust your posture.
Turn towards the person you are talking to- If you turn away, it signals that you are uninterested in what the other person is saying. Leaning towards them and even mirroring their actions will make them feel like you are engaged and interested. Again, getting too close signals that you do not understand the concept of personal space.
Modulate Your Voice- Try to speak in a lower tone. Talking too fast can also sometimes signal nervousness or someone who is uncertain. Instead, speak with conviction. And be consistent. If you are in an argument or want to persuade someone, ending your sentences like they are questions won't help you. Keep your facial expressions in check as well. Smiling weakly or apologetically while negotiating won't have the desired effect you want.
So if you find that you aren't being taken as seriously as you would like to be at work, try adopting these simple tips and see what happens!