Your body language can be one of the keys to your success at work, if used properly. You can give a good impression, convince clients to buy, and please your boss. In communication, only about 7% of our communication is through words, and rest, the 93%, is given by nonverbal cues. Those nonverbal cues can be certain aspects of your speech and your body language.
Appropriate body language for interviews, meetings or presentations
A job interview is usually very nerve-wracking for most people. But in order to increase your chances of staying off the list of rejected applicants, you have to impress your interviewer by projecting confident. Here are some gestures and body movements that you can work on displaying during your job interview.
A firm handshake almost always indicates confidence. But don’t get carried away.
Relax on the chair provided for you, but remember not to slouch. Slouching reflects laziness. Keep your head up, and lean slightly forward. Leaning in shows connection and interest.
Place your hands on your lap, and never in your pocket. Putting your hand in your pockets usually signifies some nervousness, boredom, or dishonesty.
As much as is comfortable, do not cross your legs. But if crossing your legs helps you calm your nerves, do it, but in a fashion that still points your body forward in the direction of the interviewer.
During the conversation, be sure that you maintain eye contact to show your interest and eagerness to listen.
The fine are of animation
Use your hands to punctuate or emphasize what you are saying. You will appear stiff, and maybe a little weird, if your hands will stay on your lap during the entire interview. Hand gestures also signify that you are honest and indeed knowledgeable of what you are talking about. You can do this while sitting or standing.
During a presentation, move around, but remember to walk slowly.
The greatest presenters are those who can speak confidently with the right timing of body movements and gestures.
Gestures And movements that you should avoid
There are a few gestures that you should avoid as well. The wrong gestures, done consciously or unconsciously, create the wrong impression to your potential employer, boss, co-workers, and clients. Some of these may cost you your job.
Avoid pointing a finger at anyone, especially your boss. Even when you are angry or are trying to emphasize a specific detail, it is regarded as a rude gesture.
In meetings, refrain from showing signs of boredom and lack of interest. These signs include arms crossed over the chest, eyes on objects other than the person talking or the presentation itself, yawning, signing, drumming the fingers on the table, or tapping your foot.
Watch for signs that you are not doing a good job
If you are the presenter in a meeting or an applicant in a job interview, you should also be observant of the body language of others. Watch your audience. Reading their actions and movements could aid you to be aware of their reactions and if you are doing well.
You can begin to detect that the other party is getting bored if their focus of attention is no longer on you. This is evidenced by the lack of eye contact. Observe their hands as well. Even if their eyes are on you, if their hand are busy, it may mean they are thinking about something else. See if their fingers are playing with their pen or drumming on the table. Boredom is also indicated when the person in front of you begin to slouch back into their chair.
You can also notice signs of opposition to your ideas or opinions when the other person starts to cross their arms, wrinkle their forehead, or tilt their head.
Body language signs are not universally reliable. The signs that think you are picking up may not reflect how someone really feels about what you are saying.
The key is to know how to prepare yourself in critical times at your place of work.