Body language is an essential and key element of an effective communication, because around 90% of our communication is non-verbal.
It’s not about what you say, but how you actually say it.
You can be the most educated and smart person, but if you don’t know how to express yourself, no one will listen to you.
So, in order to improve your communication skills, first you need to improve your body language. That can really open people up to you and what you are saying. Learning how to harness your body language into positive energy will give you an advantage in conversations, presentations and meetings. Now we will present 10 incredible and powerful ways to increase your influence over the people with effective body language.
1. Stand Tall
Your posture tells a lot about your personality. It is one of the first things people notice about you. Stand tall, but don’t go to extreme, because you’ll lose your natural look, and you’ll seem cold, resistant and unreachable. Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, hold your head high and smile. This will boost your self-confidence, making you positive and friendly person ready to start a conversation – all the attributes you as a speaker want.
2. Practice Your Handshake
The first thing to do when introducing yourself to someone is shake their hand. You need to be careful, because you don’t want to hurt the person you’re introducing to. Be friendly, gentle (but not too much), and make it look spontaneous. Handshake can also vary depending on the situations. There are times when a firm handshake is required. For example, when you meet a boy who is going on a date with your daughter. Also, when you want to congratulate someone about their recent success it is good to use firm handshake. Spend some time perfecting your handshake. A simple handshake says a million words, so make sure you are telling the message that you want to be heard.
3. Appropriately Position Your Body
Your position is extremely significant to setting the mood of a conversation. Opening your stance to the person you are talking to makes you look more approachable and interested in the topic you’re discussing. If you’re turned even slightly to the side, you present yourself as defensive and introvert person. Position your body accordingly, and see the change in the mood of your conversation.
4. Pay Attention to Your Facial Expressions
People you’re surrounded with have different experiences facing you, and they form different pictures of you, all depending on your facial expressions. You may think that you have the power to manage it whenever you want, but actually you take control of it in the first couple of minutes, and then you continue with the same old expressions. It is very difficult to control your facial expressions, so you have to work hard if you want to achieve that. If you want to maser this skill you need to practice all the time – alone in front of the mirror, together with a friend, everywhere and every time when you have an opportunity to do that.
5. Make an Eye Contact
The most important, as well as the hardest aspect of body language is eye contact. People usually don’t know how to use and focus their eyes without looking ridiculous. During a conversation don’t stare with your eyes wide open, you may scary the other person. Also, don’t shift your eyes all the time, because it seems like you’re deceptive or distant. The best way to make an eye contact is actually looking in the middle of the other person’s forehead. It is polite, and feels like you’re very interested in the conversation.
6. Smile and Laugh
Relax a bit, don’t take the body language too seriously. Be spontaneous. Smile and laugh when the other person says something funny. Also mile when you’re introduced to someone. If you seem to be positive person, you’ll easily attract people, and everybody would love to start a conversation with you.
7. Use Gestures While Speaking
Gesturing while speaking lets you visualize important information, allowing you to free up memory in order to achieve better and stronger results. It is used to emphasize what you’re saying, and make a picture of a competent and smart person. Just don’t use exaggerated movements because it will lead to wrong direction of your conversation or presentation.
Photo Credit: USDA
8. Nod When You’re Listening
Nod once in a while to show the others that you’re listening what they’re saying. Active listening makes the other person feel important to you, and leads your conversation in the right direction. Just don’t overdo it if you don’t like to look like you have serious issues.
9. Limit Your Repetitive Habits
Try to avoid fidgety movements and nervous ticks, for example shaking your leg, tapping your fingers against the table, touching your face, flipping your hair, biting your lip. It’s very distracting and annoying, so stop doing it if you want to continue your conversation. Try to slow down, relax and control your movements.
10. Observe Their Body Language Too
Pay attention to the other person’s body language too, and try to adjust to it. You can discretely copy their body language – that will definitely make a stronger mutual connection. This technique is very useful and recommended if you want to continue your conversation on a higher level.
You can work on your body language and change it, but as all the other habits it will take some time. Don’t rush, go step by step, and you’ll master your body language leading it to perfection.
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