Make a Better Impression With Body Language

Make a Better Impression With Body Language

Salespeople know that combining non-intimidating body language with friendly eye contact is the key to a successful business relationship. Coaches and teachers know that you get better results from students with open, welcoming body language. But how can you learn this skill? Is there a science to body language? And how does it help you make a better first impression?

The Science of Body Language

It may surprise you to know that there is no definitive science of body language. But there are gestures, movements, and postures that people generally interpret in similar ways. In fact, body language can be very cultural, with a friendly gesture in one culture meaning something quite offensive in another.

Of course, there are exceptions to these generalizations. Neurodiverse people, such as autistics, may struggle to interpret body language and require more direct communication. Likewise, even neurotypical people may simply fail to learn how body language can be a key way to present yourself positively and communicate effectively.

Body Language – Making a Good Impression

You already know that you can emphasize positive statements by nodding or moving your hands around for emphasis. But did you know that your whole stance and body movement when you meet someone could help determine their overall impression of you? Speaking accounts for only a tiny proportion of how we communicate, although this varies from person to person.

Knowing how to carry yourself when you meet someone for the first time can make the difference between a great date, an awkward hour with a stranger, or a successful interview versus a room brimming with anxiety.

Stand or Sit Tall

If you physically can’t do this, ignore this step! Whether you’re standing or in a wheelchair, an upright spine with relaxed shoulders and a lack of tension indicates confidence. Not just with this situation, but generally within yourself. This encourages people to be more open with you.

Focus on the Person You’re Talking To

Eye contact isn’t always comfortable, either for you or the person you’re meeting! Staring someone in the eyeballs without blinking is, well, creepy, so don’t obsess about this. However, don’t look anywhere but at them. Simply keep your attention on the person you’re speaking with to help them feel appreciated and feel that you’re happy to be there.

Manage Your Habits

Nail biters, lip pickers, nose scrubbers – do your best to get it under control. If you struggle with compulsions like these, prepare accordingly. Put anti-bite coating on your nails. Make sure you’ve blown your nose and taken any medication before your meeting. Use lip balm or gloss if appropriate.

Body Language – What to Avoid

Whether personal or professional, your first meeting with anyone should show you off as calm and confident. You can help boost that impression by avoiding:

  • Slouching
  • Hunching your back or shoulders
  • Scuffing your feet on the floor
  • Folding your arms
  • Wringing your hands
  • Constantly looking at your watch or checking your phone
  • Yawning

Once you get to know a person better, you’ll relax into a shared body language that works for both of you. In the meantime, use our tips to create a better first impression with positive body language!

The Takeaway?

Body language is one of the most important aspects of communication. It can reveal your true feelings, intentions, and emotions even when you are trying to hide them. There are many different factors that contribute to body language such as culture or upbringing that go into how a person interprets what body language means to them. As you navigate through life, it’s vital that you examine your own body language and modify it to improve personal and professional relationships.

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