Body language impacts how others perceive you. What really matters, it is not what you say, but how you say it and, most importantly, how your body conveys that message.
According to the research studies – words, tone of voice and body language – account differently when it comes to our perception of another person. And while we like to think that it is the content that matters, only 7% accounts for the words. The tone of your voice is more important 38%, but the real focus should be on body language which accounts for 55%. Your message is only as strong, as convincing is your body language and tone of your voice.
Your body language also reveals how you feel and think about yourself. The way you enter the boardroom or the meeting, can make a good first impression, build credibility and trust if you feel good and confident. Your posture, your walk, speed of movements, hand gestures can show your confidence and high self-esteem.
5 tips on body language to make a good first impression
Good posture makes you look confident, shows good energy and health. Remember to keep straight, roll back your shoulders and keep your chin up. Try to avoid crossing arms, while it may be simply a comfortable position but it may be taken as you are not open to the conversation.
If you walk confidently, you will be able to build instant credibility and the reaction to you will be noticeable different. Try to keep a moderate pace of your walk. If you rush, you look stressed and chaotic. But if you are very slow in your movements, it may be taken as a sign of poor confidence, insecurity or health issues.
Give a firm, confident handshake when you meet your client or business partner. Do not try to power the other person down. Offer a straight vertical hand instead of palm down one to take control. Avoid the ‘wet noodle’ handshake that comes from timid and easily intimidated people.
Keep a comfortable space between you and the other person. If you are too far away offering a handshake you will have to lean forward and bow, if you are too close the handshake may feel uncomfortable as you are invading someones personal zone.
Eye contact is essential to create successful personal and business relationship, but so many of us find it difficult to do it effectively.
Keep an eye contact when shaking hand and maintain it during the meeting. Inconsistent eye contact is a sign that you are either not interested or extremely unconsidered.
You also do not want to look down when making a point, as it may look like you are uncomfortable or unsure with the statement.
Smile to show you feel comfortable and relaxed in business or social gatherings. Use smile at your business meeting to greet clients and partners, respond with smile if the conversation is to break the ice and of casual topics. But avoid smiling during serious negotiations as it may be taken for a sign of insecurity.