A week ago, you were given an assignment to do a presentation on how frogs benefit the ecosystem. The thought of frogs grossed you out and you’d rather watch paint dry than present on such a ridiculous topic. Quickly yet halfheartedly, you pulled something together on the morning of the presentation hoping no one realized how unprepared you were. You stood, front and center, with hands folded in front of you; sweat rolling uncontrollably down your face; and you couldn’t stop fidgeting as you looked down at the floor. In spite of the words that fell from your lips, your audience could clearly see how uninterested you were with frogs and the ecosystem; your body language confirmed it.
Body language is the way that we communicate to others, and ourselves, without words.
We send positive or negative messages through our facial expressions, body movements and gestures, eye contact, and posture.
Studies have shown that people get more messages through body language than actual spoken words. The percentages for how much messaging comes through body language vs. spoken language may vary, but they all conclude that people get more from what you don’t say than what you do.
Send positive vibes
It’s important, then, to give off positive vibes if you want to connect with people and encourage them to connect with you. This includes:
- Smiling – conveys warmth and friendliness;
- Eye contact – shows interest and attentiveness;
- Unfolded arms – looks open and inviting;
- Palms–up gesturing – communicates inclusiveness; and
- Mirroring – promotes similarity and familiarity.
Positive body language can also make you appear trustworthy, confident, secure, and credible to others, while reinforcing positive thoughts and feelings within yourself.
Whether at work, at home, or at play, what you say with your body will speak volumes to others about you. Make sure to send the right message so others will know the real you.