Have you ever been impressed by someone totally unknown to you? Forget about their title or appearance, what impressed you most about them? Was it the manner they spoke? Was it the way they carried themselves? Was it the way they greeted people and interacted with them? Many times we find ordinary people using their body language very effectively and get floored by the same. This is the power of body language. When properly used, body language can be your key to greater success. It can help you develop positive business relationships, influence and motivate the people who report to you, improve productivity, bond with members of your team, and present your ideas with more impact. A great example of the personification of great body language is leadership motivational speakers. The way they carry themselves and speak sense to others is due to their charismatic body language. As a student or a professional, here are a few tips for using body language to project confidence, credibility, and your personal equity and walk your way to success:
Maintain proper eye contact
By nature you may be an introvert, shy, or your cultural background may have taught you that extended eye contact with a senior or people of the opposite sex may not be appropriate. However, this is far from true. When you are meeting someone for the first time, look straight into their eyes, greet them and look into their eyes long enough to notice the colour of their eye. Eye contact exuberates confidence, however, don’t overdo it and don’t stare. For example, closely watch the activities of motivational speakers in India for students. See how they passionately talk, all the while maintaining proper eye contact with people. This creates a feeling as if the speaker is talking to you personally and carries the message across better.
A positive smile can be a conversation starter and can have a positive impact on any conversation. Smiling not only stimulates your own sense of wellbeing it also tells those around you that you are approachable and trustworthy. Research from Duke University found that the orbitofrontal cortices (a “reward centre” in the brain) were more active when subjects were learning and recalling the names of smiling individuals. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.
This is a non-verbal communication medium where the tips of your fingers touch, but the palms are separated. Politicians like Barack Obama, Winston Churchill and Narendra Modi use this hand gesture when they are quite certain about a point they are making. Even businessmen and business motivational speakers can be seen using steepling. This makes them look formal and have a serious aura about their body language. Likewise, when you are interacting in a group or making a presentation or you want to project conviction and sincerity about a point you’re making, try steepling.
Use Gestures Effectively
Using gestures won’t only aid your thought processes, it also helps in creating a good first impression. Research has shown that presenters are judged as more effective and competent when they make hand gestures compared with when they keep their hands still. If you notice the top motivational speakers, you will see that they often gesticulate to emphasise their words, but they do not overdo it. Like tone, volume, and pacing of your speech, gestures are another tool to punctuate what you’re saying. Gestures can also help the audience understand and remember what you said.
Use your voice effectively
By nature, we all have a certain voice and tone quality that we cannot change. However, we can definitely adjust the tonality depending upon the context and nature of communication to use it in a better way. According to Professor Albert Mehrabian at the University of UCLA, total liking for any piece of communication is dependent on 7% verbal liking, 38% vocal liking and 55% on facial liking. Hence tonality is extremely important. Tone involves the volume you use, the level and type of emotion that you communicate and the emphasis that you place on the words that you choose. In the workplace, the quality of your voice can be a deciding factor in how you are perceived. Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less empathic, less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower-pitched voices.
Hence we can understand the importance of our body language in both our personal and professional lives. It not only affects the way others perceive you but it also makes you feel like a better person.