Monday, 1 June 2015

How body language betrays you

What is your body language saying about you? When you give a presentation or run a sales meeting, are you being seen as authoritative, confident and credible, or insecure, disreputable and out of your league? The trouble may start with your posture, gestures and facial expressions. These are important aspects in nonverbal communication and can ruin everything you planned for that moment. Ok, so, how do you develop better language skills?
When it comes to body language, simply avoiding the most common mistakes and replacing them with more confident movements will make a big difference. Here are some body language killers that will destroy your presentation. Try HARD to avoid them in order to become a professional speaker.

How body language betrays you

Avoiding eye contact

What it says about you: Lack of confidence, nervous, insecure.
What to do instead: Spend 90% or more of your presentation time looking into the eyes of your listeners. The vast majority of people spend far too much time looking down at notes, PowerPoint slides or at the table in front of them. Not surprisingly, most speakers can change this behavior instantly simply by watching video of themselves. Powerful business leaders look at their listeners directly in the eye when delivering their message.

Slouching

What it says about you: Unauthoritative, lack of confidence.
What to do instead: When standing stationary, place feet at shoulder width and lean slightly forward. Pull your shoulders slightly forward as well — you'll appear more masculine. Head and spine should be straight. Don't use a tabletop or podium as an excuse to lean on it.

Fidgeting, rocking or swaying

What it says about you: Nervous, unsure or unprepared.
What to do instead: Well, stop fidgeting! Fidgeting, rocking and swaying don't serve any purpose.

Standing in place

What it says about you: You are rigid, nervous, boring — not engaging or dynamic.
What to do instead: Walk. Move. Most people think they need to stand ridged in one place. What they don't realize is that movement is not only acceptable, it's welcome. Some of the greatest business speakers walk into the audience, and are constantly moving... but with purpose!
For example, a dynamic speaker will walk from one side of the room to another to deliver their message. But if there's no one in a corner of the room, it doesn't make sense to go there — it's not moving with purpose.

Keeping hands in pocket

What it says about you: You are uninterested, uncommitted or nervous.
What to do instead: Simply take your hands out of your pocket. Business leaders never once put both hands in their pockets during a presentation. One hand is acceptable — as long as the free hand is gesturing.

Using phony gestures

What it says about you: You are over coached, unnatural or artificial.
What to do instead: Use gestures, but not to much. Researchers have shown that gestures reflect complex thought. Gestures leave listeners with the perception of confidence, competence and control, but and there is a big BUT, the minute you try to copy a hand gesture, you risk looking contrived, like a bad politician who is over couched on how to have and sustain a convincing speech.

Jingling coins, tapping toes and other annoying movements

What it says about you: You're nervous, unpolished or insufficiently concerned with details.
What to do instead: Use a video camera to tape yourself, play it back and watch yourself carefully with criticism. Do you find annoying gestures that you weren't aware of?

Body language
Use your body as a communication tool!

Dynamic and powerful body language will help you kick up the power of your presentations, whether you're interviewing for a job, climbing the career ladder or occupying the corner office. Pay attention to these body language killers and choose the alternative instead. Walk, talk and look like a leader, and your listeners will follow.


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