“Language is a more recent technology. Your body language, your eyes, your energy will come through to your audience before you even start speaking.” – Peter Guber
We all know that nonverbal communication plays a powerful role in the impression that we make on others. However, knowing that body language is important, and mastering the art of body language are two very different things.
Cultivating sophisticated nonverbal communication skills can be challenging because generally nonverbal cues are involuntary actions that fly below our radar of conscious awareness. The best way to develop your nonverbal communication abilities is to heighten your awareness of your nonverbal cues, and educate yourself on the science of body language.
The 33 nonverbal communication tips featured below are a great place to start your body language education. These tips are designed to put you on the fast track to success as a presenter and influential leader.
1. Be aware. Studies show that body language accounts for between 50 to 70% of all communication. @Aboutdotcom http://ethr.ee/1v9f91U
2. “When making a formal presentation, move then pause. Human beings are drawn to movement.” @Forbes http://ethr.ee/1ojywzq
3. Take a cue from Oprah: steeple your fingers. “Put fingertips to fingertips to increase your authority.” @HuffPostOWN http://ethr.ee/1DA1XqC
4. During conversations, mirror. Casually match the mannerisms of the other person to signal a connection. @CGoman http://ethr.ee/1ojyMhV
5. Nod in sets of three to show interest in a comment. Nod only once to signal the end of an interaction. @RealSimple http://ethr.ee/1DA53uH
6. Be sincere. Don’t immediately smile when you greet someone. Pause and look at their face, then smile. @EntMagazine http://ethr.ee/1DA6LfE
7. Research shows that presenters who use hand gestures are more effective than speakers who don’t use their hands. @99u http://ethr.ee/1vlCVpJ
8. Use your eyes. Most people will focus 43% of their attention on your eyes during interactions. @Mashable http://ethr.ee/1vlErba
9. Be open. Studies show that leaders with open body language are more persuasive. @CGoman http://ethr.ee/1v9kvdk
10. Master “proxemics,” the science of personal space. Stand 4 feet away from others to gauge space preferences. @FastCompany http://ethr.ee/Yj67SX
11. For a burst of bravado, raise your chin. Use sparingly though; this pose can communicate arrogance. @JanineDriver http://ethr.ee/1v9PV3t
12. Get organized. Studies show that people who carry more than one item are often judged as forgetful. @Vvanedwards http://ethr.ee/1v9sfME
13. Presenters, don’t overdo hand gestures. If people watch your hands more than your face, gesture less. @PittTweet http://ethr.ee/YjbQYY
14. Angle your body. Men (more than women) feel confronted if someone stands “squared up” during a conversation. @Forbes http://ethr.ee/YjgjL3
15. Your handshake should be firm, but not crushing, and last no longer than three shakes. @BernardMarr http://ethr.ee/1rkoSCi
16. Nervous mannerisms such as fidgeting communicate a lack of confidence. Breathe slowly to minimize nerves. @OPENForum http://ethr.ee/Yjo1Vv
17. Before a presentation, stand with legs and arms stretched open to boost testosterone and lower cortisol. @TEDTalks http://ethr.ee/YjqIqk
18. “To encourage collaboration, remove barriers.” Don’t let objects or your hands block your body. @Forbes http://ethr.ee/1v9DN2h
19. Avoid appearing timid; don’t keep your hands folded in your lap for the entirety of a meeting. @CBSnews http://ethr.ee/Yjwg3Y
20. Don’t stare. Continuous eye contact for ten seconds or longer makes most people uncomfortable. @PsychToday http://ethr.ee/1vlELa1
21. Consider multiple cues when interpreting body language. Single gestures aren’t accurate indicators. @ConversationEDU http://ethr.ee/1v9K4Ls
22. Use your head. Tilting your head can express empathy and understanding, or submission. @Forbes http://ethr.ee/1v9QYjV
23. Project confidence. Don’t block the “three power zones:” the neck dimple, belly button, and groin. @HealthyLiving http://ethr.ee/1v9Vfne
24. If someone’s torso is angled towards you, but their feet are angled away from you, they likely want to leave. @Buffer http://ethr.ee/1v9XrLu
25. During negotiations, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground “to show resolve.” @Inc http://ethr.ee/1qCTRn3
26. Encourage collaboration and defuse tension by standing side-by-side, looking in the same direction. @Jeff_Haden http://ethr.ee/1va1ibu
27. Beware of blinking too much. Rapid blinking can communicate that you are feeling uncomfortable. @BizzWriter http://ethr.ee/1va2ifO
28. Take control. If someone enters your office uninvited, stand up to signal busyness. @GlenBlickenstaf http://ethr.ee/1uN2YFC
29. Watch the eyes. Pupils involuntarily dilate when someone is interested in something. @Inc http://ethr.ee/1uN3C64
30. Don’t abuse confident stances. If your posture is too alpha, you will not be likable. @AmyjcCuddy http://ethr.ee/1uN5sE1
31. Smile. A genuine smile, also known as a Duchenne smile, is evident by crinkled crow’s feet. @BusinessInsider http://ethr.ee/ZXVDdc
32. “To read body language accurately, don’t think about it.” Listen to your gut; don’t overanalyze. @DrNickMorgan http://ethr.ee/1v9MyJT
33. When standing still during a presentation, put your feet shoulder width apart to convey confidence. @EntrepreneurOrg http://ethr.ee/1vlE941
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