Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Network: Body Language

Hi everyone!

In order to make an impressive first impression, it is important to be as articulate and well spoken as possible. What you say, however, begins before you even utter a single word.

In today’s edition of “The Network” we’re talking all things language—body language that is. After reading this post you’ll be fluent, and ready to network like a pro.

Body language is essential to effective networking, and the right approach can make all the difference. Body language can establish presence, engage those around you and lead to some insightful and productive conversations and relationships. Poor body language, on the other hand, has the potential for disaster and could paint a poor picture of who you are.

With that, here are some guidelines to ensure that you will always own the room.

Perfect Posture

Grandma knew what she was talking about when she hounded you to sit up straight. Nothing exudes confidence quite like good posture. Whether you’re sitting or standing, keep your back straight, shoulders down and chest open. This will show that you’re welcoming and inviting, drawing people to you with a friendly energy.

No folded arms! Trust me, I know it’s comfortable, but a grouchy stance with crossed arms is the universal sign for, “not interested—please don’t talk to me.” That’s pretty counter-productive to any networking efforts if you ask me.

Face It

We’re all more expressive in our faces than we are aware of, and this expressiveness can work for or against you, so be conscious.

Smile! It’s really that easy. Looking happy and friendly is a sure-fire way to draw people to you and display your genuine interest.

Don’t forget about eye contact. Maintaining solid eye contact during a conversation or introduction will help you connect better with people and make a more lasting positive impact. Appropriate eye contact shows someone that you are focused on them and care about what they have to say. It’s really just polite.

Smooth Moves

Yes, great posture is a key component of effective body language, but that doesn’t mean being stiff or stoic. Your body language should make you look poised, yet comfortable.

Move around naturally. Walk with purpose and intent. Use a firm, confident handshake. You’ve heard this all before, but hey! If it works, it works! Also, feel free to use your hands when you talk. I, for one, know that I wouldn’t be able to speak a single word without using my hands. Just be cautious and avoid anything too crazy or distracting. The gestures you use make you unique and help tell your story, so use them wisely.

There you have it! The basics of body language. These are just a few friendly reminders of how to say it all without saying a single word—but I want to know, what are some of your tips and tricks for better body language?


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