BODY LANGUAGE TIPS FOR POWER IN BUSINESS

Great impressions begin before you enter the room.

In business interactions, first impressions are crucial. Once someone mentally labels you, everything else you do will be viewed through that filter. If someone likes you, they’ll look for the best in you. If they don’t, they won’t.

 

Use your eye contact to increase your professional impact.

Too much eye contact can be seen as rude or hostile, and in a business context, it may also be perceived as a deliberate intent to dominate, intimidate, or make the other person feel at a disadvantage. Too little, on the other hand, can make you appear uneasy, insincere, or uninterested. Try to match the other person’s eye contact. They are comfortable using the amount they use, so they will feel comfortable with you if you do the same.

 

Create a bond through touch.

Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. You can, however, go beyond the handshake and create a lasting, positive impact by just by touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder while shaking their hand. Then at subsequent meetings you can reactivate that initial favorable impression by once again lightly touching your acquaintance’s arm.

 

To power up your thinking, 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 also when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as you talk can actually power up your thinking.

 

To communicate more effectively, stop talking.

Stillness sends a message that you’re calm and confident. When you are giving a presentation, don’t be concerned with filling every moment with words. Every so often, pause. It might feel like you are waiting for an eternity, but it won’t seem long to your listeners.

 

To sound more dynamic, widen your stance

Your voice comes from your entire body, not just your mouth. Your body helps you become a more dynamic speaker when it is grounded — feet planted firmly on the floor, a hips-width apart, with your weight evenly distributed. A broad stance like this calms your nervous system, allows you to breathe with ease, and amplifies your voice.