How’s Your Body Language?

Published Thursday, March 03, 2011 5:11 PM

The Oscar winning movie The King's Speech gives the spoken word center stage but effective communicators know that body language plays a crucial supporting role.

Want to make a positive impression? Be sure your body language conveys confidence and poise. On your to-do list:

  • Smile
  • Make eye contact
  • Firm handshake
  • Erect posture, but not too stiff
  • Lean forward in your chair if seated

Negative non-verbal cues to avoid include:

  • Fidgeting
  • Clenched hands
  • Playing with your hair
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Crossing your arms

 

Let Your Intention be Your Guide

Worried that remembering body language tips will hamper, rather than enhance, your communication style? Or perhaps you're skeptical about the importance of this "unspoken" language? Top communications coach and academic theorist Dr. Nick Moran advocates letting your subconscious be your guide. Dr. Moran argues that consciously trying to direct your body language can actual come across as phony.

Rather, Dr. Moran recommends forgetting about your body language and instead focusing on your intent. What emotion, or information, do you wish to convey? If you want to convey excitement, anger, poise or determination, your focus as a communicator should be on telegraphing that emotion. If you do so, Moran argues, your body language will unconsciously line up with that emotion. Bingo! Your body language is reinforcing your spoken word.

For more tips on persuasive public speaking, read Dr. Moran's series of posts on Forbes.com. 

 

Are you influenced by a person's body language? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.

by Candie Harris

 

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