Given that impressions are formed within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, it’s safe to say that our nonverbal cues communicate more about us than our words ever can.
In business, your body language is crucial to communicating who you are and what you’re presenting. Whether you’re making a sales pitch to win over a potential client, presenting case studies to your peers, or even making new connections at a networking event, the right gestures and movements can take you far.
Make Direct Eye Contact
Eye contact can communicate more than we’d think. Looking someone in the eye when they’re talking shows that you’re listening and giving them your fullest attention. Making eye contact when you’re the one speaking, whether it’s during a presentation or in a one-on-one conversation, shows that you’re open and engaged.
In contrast, looking around or down at the ground can show a lack of confidence or focus — two of the last things you want people to think when you’re talking about yourself or your business.
Have a Power Pose Ready to Go
Thanks to a now-famous TED talk by Amy Cuddy, "power posing" is a familiar tactic used in business situations. Put simply, power posing is meant to make one feel empowered and more confident due to the nature of their stance.
These types of poses usually entail standing straight, legs slightly further apart, and with your hands on your hips. While a go-to pose can make you feel more confident and in control, the most important thing to remember is to maintain good posture.
Slouching can communicate low confidence or uneasiness. Additionally, crossing your arms can appear to be closed off or unapproachable. The best power poses are ones with open arms and straight postures.
Don’t Forget to Smile!
It can be all too easy to become unaware of our facial expressions when we’re speaking or listening. But it’s important to be conscious of your facial movements while in a business situation.
That includes smiling when it’s appropriate, like when introducing yourself. Leading with a smile will kick off the conversation or presentation on a welcoming note and put the other party at ease. A smile can also communicate trustworthiness, openness and approachability, which are all great qualities to have as a business owner or leader.
Align Your Movements with Your Words
In order to truly communicate your message to others, what you say and how you say it need to align.
For example, while it’s important to smile, it wouldn’t make sense to smile throughout a presentation that covers a negative subject. On the flipside, if you’re at a networking event and are engaging in a conversation with a new connection, you wouldn’t want to keep your arms crossed the entire time.
While you may be interested in the conversation, crossing your arms will communicate that you’re closed off or not interested. Pay attention to what you’re doing with your body and make sure that it matches up with the message you want to get across.
Polish Your Communication Skills in a Mastermind Group
Next Level groups are about more than networking with other business owners — they provide an opportunity to build a referral network for your clients, connect with trusted advisers to grow your business, and learn new skills to help you reach your goals. Request a consultation online today to see if one of our mastermind groups is a good fit for you!