The way you present yourself to others spells out the kind of confidence you have. Your exterior mannerisms can tell people a lot about your state of confidence. Having good body language, hence, becomes crucial in portraying a poised image of yourself.
What is Body Language and Why Is It Important?
Body language is the unspoken way of communication that relays what we feel through gestures, postures, and facial expression. On it, depends your confidence, credibility, and the legacy you want to leave behind. It is something that can make you or break you. The vibe that body language transmits can lift the spirit of the people around, improve relationships, enhance productivity, and can assist you in presenting ideas with unprecedented impact. Body language has to be cultivated over time, and the nitty-gritty has to be learned. But, one step at a time.
10 Tips to Improve Your Body Language
If you are curious about how to improve body language, then follow the steps mentioned below and feel the difference it creates.
1. Go For a Power Pose
Researchers, while discussing how to improve body language, believe that assuming an expansive pose for two minutes like leaning back with outstretched legs on the desk and hands behind head or with hands and legs wide apart while standing can boost testosterone level, a hormone that determines power and dominance. Known commonly as “high-power” poses, these can reduce stress hormones like cortisol. At the same time, these poses help in conveying messages later with an added impact, all the while letting you feel more confident and ensuring high-risk tolerance level. While standing, proper composure should be maintained with head held high and shoulder at ease with the posture.
2. Listen Well and Participate
Any distraction like checking text or time can deter others from speaking their mind freely. Instead, focus on listening to them more intently by facing them directly and by maintaining eye contact. Even better, if you lean forward and nod your head to encourage them to show that you have devoted your attention to them. Engaging yourself to what they say is a small step, but it opens up multiple possibilities. It is important to display how keen you are to make them more productive.
3. Collaboration is the Key
Breaking barriers is an easy step to improve body language. Between you and your team, nothing should come. Not even a coffee cup. Conversations turn fruitful when the physical barriers are removed. Things that can block your view or form an obstacle between the team and you should be removed at once to encourage the team in collaborating. A simple example could be how high you hold a cup while having a chat. Insecure people often hold things close to their chest but the ones, who are relaxed, never take it above their waist.
4. Connect with a Handshake
Warmth in tactile contact can create bonds forever. That is why a proper handshake often sets the tone. It is one of the essential body language tips for interviews. The handshake is a sign of confidence, and it has to be firm. It is also a sign of mutual respect which many recruiters find an essential step of hiring a candidate.
5. Set it up with a Smile
It is imperative to make others feel positive by spreading your charm with a hearty smile. While lighting up your face, it informs others of your well-being and makes you approachable. It can promote you as a trustworthy person. This easy tip to improve body language can trigger long-lasting relationships where people can feel better around you. As one of many body language tips for interviews, it can do wonders.
6. Right One for Right Occasion
People often judge others by looking at what they are wearing. That is why selecting the perfect dress is one of the essential body language tips for interviews. Wearing a perfectly fitted dress for a job interview is crucial. However, overdressing a bit can work just fine in case of any confusion. For example, in a company that follows casual dress code such as jeans and t-shirt, a tucked-in shirt without a tie can do well.
7. Speak with Words…and Hands
Researchers found out, while scanning brain, that Broca’s area that assists in speaking also works in tandem with the hand. Gestures and speech are intricately linked, and that can be seen the way people wave their hands in mid-air while speaking. It has its benefits. It can boost thinking process. At the same time, waving hands can engage more people and initiate a lively chat. A little trick to improve body language is to show your palm often while having a conversation.
8. Feet Fact
When people feel nervous, anxious, or uncomfortable, they often start fidgeting their legs and feet. While they maintain a composed upper body, they do not focus on how their legs and feet are reacting. They start shaking their legs or rest their feet around a chair or table. They do it often to feel relaxed and release the tension. It is in our instinct to react in such a way. So extra measure should be taken to avoid such things. Employers prefer people who effuse confidence. Hence, a complete composure is needed. An often ignored one among the body language tips for interviews, but of great importance, if you want to make a holistic impact.
9. Memory Matters
It is not just always about how to improve body language. A good memory is essential. But most of us don’t know that these two are interlinked. Researchers, while conducting studies, have found out that people who sit with an open posture, that means without crossing their hands and legs, tend to retain more information than their counterparts. Good memory and relaxed conversation always lead up to effective communication and assist in brewing ideas that can further prospects.
10. Pitch It the Perfect Way
When it comes to how to improve your body language, the trump card is speaking with a confident voice. A conversation with good content could fall into deaf ears if the words were not uttered in the right way. People often end their sentences with a slightly high-pitched voice, which listeners interpret as a question or an attempt to seek approval. If so, even a statement can fail miserably to make an impact. The ideal way to say things is to follow an arc where the first words should come out in a definite tone and the middle words should rise to make an impact before falling a bit to end the sentence. This arc assists in establishing an air of authority which leads to a lasting impression.
Postures to Avoid for a Better Body Language
Here are some poses that can ensure better body language.
- Crossing hands should be avoided. It creates a barrier between speakers and discourages people from sharing their ideas freely. Similarly, crossing legs symbolise nervousness or discomfort which people should avoid at any cost.
- Too much eye contact can be interpreted as rude. Hence, researchers feel that making eye contact for about 30%-60% of the entire conversation duration can be considered the right balance.
- Fidgeting is a strict no-no, especially during interviews. This adversely impacts the conversation.
- The ending of a sentence should never be in a high pitch as that makes others interpret it as a query.
- Inappropriate dressing can leave a negative impression.
- Drooping shoulder and head should be avoided.
How to Read a Person’s Body Language
Followings are some tips for a comprehensive understanding of a person.
- Studying the eyes is of prime importance. Looking away more than making eye contact is a sign of lack of confidence.
- By reading smiles only, the intentions can be understood. A warm smile engages the face while a fake one engages mouth only.
- Mirroring gestures is a good sign. When a person mimics you it shows his intense interest in your topic.
- The speed with which a person nods his head during a conversation shows his interest in the topic. Slow nodding is a good sign, whereas, the faster ones exhibit signs of distraction.
- Relaxed feet are a sign of confidence, and it shows the interest of the other person on the topic.
- Hand in the pocket or on the head is a cue for deception or nervousness.
- Crossed arms imply defiance or rejection.
- Space between speakers can say a lot about them — closed proximity talks of good rapport. However, if the person tends to move away, then it shows the feeling is not mutual.
A good conversation is always productive. And it starts with your body language. Maintaining an impressive body language can initiate plans and later, expand the horizon. Building up a positive body language would help in imprinting a lasting impression on others on your very first appearance. It would ensure that you grab the opportunity at the right moment without letting your prospects fizzle out too soon.