Updated June 12, 2023
Introduction to Build Body Language
As a professional, you must understand that it takes more than a few educational degrees and excellent speeches to convince your seniors, clients, and subordinates of a new service, product, or company policy. Your body language plays as important a role as anything else in pitching a new idea. The way you speak, the way you maintain eye contact, your hand gestures, and your posture all have a vital impact on your audience.
While delivering a speech, not only do you need to sound confident, but you also need to look confident too. Using your body language strategically involves maintaining a certain amount of hand gestures, nodding, smiling, and straightening your back.
Body Language Tips For Personality Development
Here’s a list of things you must do to make your body language more appealing to your audience. The more positive and confident body language, the greater your chances of convincing your listeners.
1. Maintain Eye Contact
When pitching an idea, new product, and new service to your audience, it is absolutely essential that you maintain eye contact with the people present in the room. It is a psychologically proven fact that people automatically pay attention to people who look them in the eye while talking. So when you have the stage in your meeting or conference, maintain eye contact with the key persons while speaking.
2. Leave Space Before Your Upper Torso
When speaking in front of your audience or, for that matter, even listening while your colleagues speak at a meeting, keeping the space before your upper torso is extremely impactful; you must keep your back straight, and your arms and chest must be left open. This space left in front of your upper torso gives you a sense of confidence and relaxation. On the contrary, standing with your arms folded and hugging your bag or notepad indicates you are defensive. Thus, if you truly wish to capture your audience’s attention, be calm, relaxed, and confident, and give your upper torso the required space.
3. Be Comfortable, Calm, and Confident
If you constantly fidget, squirm, bite your nails, or chew your pen, you will give off the impression of nervousness. When your audience has the slightest reason to believe that you are nervous or that your body language is exhibiting anxiety and uneasiness, they are instantly going to doubt your motives. When pitching an idea, you need to be confident and calm. Your body language and posture had to arouse a sense of security within your audience.
4. Say Cheese
You need to smile if you want to make your audience comfortable and give them a reason to believe in your idea. When your colleagues say something humorous, ensure you let out a laugh to boost their confidence. When people see others smile at them, they automatically lower their defenses, become more relaxed, and are far easier to convince.
5. Use Hand Gestures
Using hand and arm gestures throughout your speech or pitch is a fantastic way to keep your audience’s attention. However, don’t go overboard with the hand gestures; you don’t want to seem like you just escaped the mental asylum. Just use your hand and arm gestures when you find it essential.
6. Exhibit Your Palms
You must show your palms to your audience when you have the stage at a conference. It is a neurologically proven fact that people who exhibit their palms while pitching an idea or presentation are signaling engagement and honesty. When your audience does not see your palm gestures, their defenses and guards automatically are raised, and they begin to doubt your motives and intentions.
7. Nod Your Head
When listening to a colleague or senior speaking, you must nod your head—nodding signals attentiveness. It makes the speaker believe that you are paying complete attention to and understanding what they are saying.
8. Point Out
When giving a screen presentation, point and look directly at the screen. It’s an excellent way to capture and maintain your audience’s attention. Pointing at the screen will automatically shift your audience’s focus to the presentation, making them more alert and interested in your pitch.
9. Answer Positively
When asked a question during your presentation, pitch, or interview, ensure you answer positively and confidently. Your answers should be direct, clear, and to the point. Avoid partial and unclear answers, and ensure you stay within the topic of discussion.
When speaking at a meeting, conference, or presentation, you need to ensure that you speak at a normal speed, maintain clear speech, and sound confident. If you are going to speak in an inaudible whisper, or you are going to mumble and stammer, it is going to lead to disastrous consequences. So make sure your speech is clear, and you do not ramble.
Maintaining appropriate body language requires only a little bit of practice. You don’t need to worry about it being rocket science. Follow these 10 simple tips and tricks, and you will be guaranteed success.
Sum up the 10 body language tips that we highly recommend
- Maintain eye contact when speaking to your audience to capture their undivided attention.
- Keep a free and open space in front of your upper torso so that you can be relaxed and calm.
- Stay confident and avoid fidgeting.
- Smile; it relaxes your audience and reduces stress and tension.
- Use hand and arm gestures to catch the listener’s attention.
- Exhibit your palms when making hand gestures.
- Nod your head when listening to others.
- Point out to the screen when making a presentation.
- Give clear and positive answers when asked a question.
- Speak clearly and in an even tone.
Some Postures You Must Avoid
In the same way, you need to follow certain tips to maintain positive and engaging body language; there are also certain body postures you need to avoid, like the plague. Here’s a list of things you must avoid doing :
- Avoid slouching, sitting forward, and even lounging your arms and legs everywhere.
- Avoid constantly touching your face, playing with your hair, biting your nails, and rubbing your head and neck. These gestures indicate nervousness and boredom.
- Avoid constant fidgeting, moving about, and being restless.
- Avoid holding objects like coffee cups, notebooks, handbags, and other items in front of your body. It indicates nervousness, shyness, and lack of confidence.
- Avoid stroking your chin when listening and paying attention to someone, as that indicates judgment. You will make the speaker uneasy, and it may seem like you are judging him.
- Avoid narrowing your eyes when looking at the speaker. It will give him the impression that you dislike him.
- Avoid looking at the floor or your feet when others speak; it shows a sign of disinterest.
- Avoid placing your hands on your hips or behind your head when meeting, as that, may come across as superior.
- Don’t keep fidgeting with your tie and collar; it shows you are uncomfortable and anxious.
- Avoid slouching- Slouching is a major indicator of low self-esteem. If you want to look and seem confident, maintain an erect posture.
- Avoid drying and cleaning your sweaty palms on your clothes. It is a sign of anxiety and excessive nervousness. Besides, if your clothes look wet and sweaty, you will seem like a mess and an unkempt individual.
- Avoid tapping your finger on the table and your feet on the floor. It indicates disinterest and boredom.
Your body language plays a vital role in your degrees and education. You need to exhibit confidence, positivity, and attentiveness if you wish to attract your audience’s attention. Often seniors and interviewers reject ideas and candidates only because of their sloppy body language. In order to be successful, your body and mind have to portray positivity, success, and happiness.
In certain organizations worldwide, the management does a complete body language evaluation of the candidate before hiring a new employee. Candidates who exhibit negative and nervous behavior are instantly rejected.
If you are a lawyer or chartered accountant, your clients must be comfortable with your body language. If you seem negative, uninterested, bored, or nervous, people may not trust you or want to collaborate with you. Such professions require people to build the trust of their clients. This trust and confidence can be created with appropriate body language.
Your body language is your body’s way of communicating non-verbally. It is an extremely important and vital form of body language communication.
There are a lot of law enforcement institutes that analyze and evaluate the body language of crime suspects. The FBI, for instance, has special analysts for this very purpose. Some other places where body language plays a very important role are in poker tournaments and championships.
Dependent on your emotional and mental states, your body language comes in clusters of postures and signals. Here are a few body language clusters and what they indicate:
- This cluster indicates a threat in physical form
- Showing keen interest
- Showing one’s superiority and body language power
- This cluster indicates that an exhibitor is a trustworthy person
- Constantly judging and analyzing
- Indicates comfort and relaxation
Like the above-mentioned clusters, there are a variety of other body language clusters that indicate romance, anger, deception, confidence, submission, and various other gestures.
You can convey body language signals using different body parts on your own. The following bodily components are listed in order of contribution to your body language gestures:
Besides keeping a watch on your body language, you should also analyze and evaluate the body language of your seniors, subordinates, and colleagues. It will not only give you an idea of what their intentions and feelings are but will also help you exhibit your body language more appropriately. Matching and mirroring the body language of the people you are interacting with will assist you in getting their undivided attention. Watching the body language of others will help you spot liars, nervous people, and people who may be taking you for a ride.
Ways to read body language
- Notice eye contact
- Notice the person’s posture
- Look out for signs of nervousness and anxiety
- Watch out for signs of threat and body language anger
- Notice how much the speaker smiles
- Make a note of the hand gestures of the speaker
- Make a note of the person’s tone
- Notice the speed of their speech
These basic traits and patterns of a person’s body language will help you evaluate them and the situation. However, remember that every individual is unique and that what one person’s body language indicates is probably not applicable to another. Once you begin noticing and analyzing people’s body language, you will notice the minor and major differences between the body language of two independent individuals. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that body language may differ between cultures and nationalities.
Body language plays a major role in conveying an individual’s feelings and thoughts. If you cannot analyze and are in doubt about what is going on in a person’s mind through their body language, the best thing to do is to strike up a conversation with them to clarify your doubts. You can also directly confront or politely question them to understand what is going on in their mind.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about building body language for personality development, so just go through the link.