A warm, compelling voice and a wide vocabulary are not the only things you need to charm those around you. According to surveys, 55% of communication passes through body language. To improve your body language you can use simple techniques that relate to the way you talk, sit and react in a conversation.
The first impression is the one that counts
How many times have you heard that the first impression is very important? This is very much true and the body language can help you win the respect and sympathy of the person you are having a conversation. The secret sauce is in the way you talk, the look of your eyes, the expressions of your face and of course the position of your body.
Besides the eyes, the face is the most expressive part of the body. To show that you are happy when you meet someone, give a positive message with a warm smile. Be careful though not to overdo it because it can generate the opposite results. Keep your mouth shut.
Try to maintain a steady and noble sight. Do not do it for more than five seconds because this continuous look can be translated as aggressive or as an attempt to impose your opinion. On the other hand, if you avoid direct eye contact and keep your eyes on the floor, this is a sign of weakness or low self-esteem.
Your handshake should be dynamic and steady. While handshaking look the other person in the eyes and show how polite and capable you are. Avoid loose handshakes showing lack of strong personality. Sweaty hands betray the anxiety and nervousness you may have. When you want to show compassion made sure to keep the handshake a bit more.
How to sit
Sit without slouching and do not cross your legs or arms. These indicate that you have a closed character and it is a sign of weakness. When you lean to one side, it shows that you do not feel comfortable. You can leave your hands on the knees but not showing the palms. They are signs of lack of power and subjugation. On the other hand, fists betray a violent character.
Maintain a distance of 60 cm from the other person. This is the right distance so that others around you are not feeling threatened.
If you want to show that you are interest in a conversation, you can shake your head with condescension.
What does the body language reveal?
The body language can reveal a lot about your intentions. For example:
How to tell if someone is interested in your conversation: the closer two people are, the more they imitate each other’s moves. When you cross your knees, rub your ear or pull your hair back, the other person will directly mimic these movements. Conversely, if they don’t take any notice of your moves, this means that they probably don’t care about you or what you say.
Ready to make the next step: scientists have seen this behavior in animals as well as humans. Men and women adopt specific gestures when they want to take their relationship with the other person to the next level. During a conversation a woman may bring her hands closer to the chest and lean forward. This is one way to show off her interest. On the other hand, men show their interest when they sit with legs apart, hands in pockets and hands relaxed.
The body language can betray a liar
Do you know when somebody is lying? If you are not sure their body language can give you some strong hints. Beware of course because you need to take into account other factors before making solid conclusions. A movement or gesture is not enough to blame someone as a liar. A combination of movements though can serve as a good indication.
Liars tend to:
Touch their head more often than usual.
Put their hands in front of the mouth in an attempt to hide the truth.
They often rub their scalp and jaw which indicates insecurity and nervousness.
They fold their arms and legs rhythmically.
The hide their hands behind the back or in their pockets and care to keep them busy to hide nervousness.
You can also read: Do you speak body language? – For a more detail explanation of 20 body language gestures and moves.