So you want to get your feet under the table in the room where it all happens? The right kind of body language can help you achieve this goal. Whether you have your sights set on a pay rise, promotion, or a new business deal, there are a number of body language tips that can help you project yourself and achieve your goals.
Height and space.
Although you obviously can’t make yourself physically taller, you still need to take advantage of your full height. According to published research the difference of four or five inches in height could translate to a salary increase of 9 to 15 percent, so make it your new habit to stand or sit tall. In addition, make it habit to take up more space. Move around when presenting meetings, spread your belongings out a little further on the conference table. Another tip to appear taller is to sit a handspan from the table in meetings. You will appear taller to others as they will be able to see a little more of you. Also you will need to stretch further to reach things on the table so will appear to be taking up more space.
Make eye contact and smile!
Research suggests that people’s memory is prompted by the positive signals conveyed by a smiling face. Smiling at someone can also trigger them to return the gesture, which in turn can positively impact their emotional state. All good news; if you want to project positivity toward your boss or client, start with a big smile!
Its well know that making eye contact projects confidence. You should aim to keep eye contact for at least 50 percent of the time you are conversing with someone. Another new habit for you to develop, and a tip to help you – when starting a conversation, try to look into the other person’s eyes for long enough to note their eye colour.
Talk with your hands.
Dr Goman, a body language expert, says ‘hand gestures are a really powerful aspect of communication.’
Research shows that far from being a distraction, talking with hand gestures during conversation or a speech can actually increase the chances that people will understand what you are communicating. It is also a sign that some has good leadership skills, and projects credibility, confidence and calm. Goman also reports that studies have show that speaking with hand gestures makes you more likeable and energetic, while those who remain too still are seen as cold and analytical.
Breaking old habits.
Spend a bit of time working out what your common nervous habits are and then set to work at breaking them. These can include twiddling hair, tapping your feet, fidgeting hands to name a few common ones. If you are not sure what you do, ask a colleague, they will probably have noticed something you may not have. Work at resetting your body language to reduce anxious behaviours as these diminish the confident, calm image you are looking to portray. Start by taking a deep breath. Meditation is good way help you develop a sense of calm and feel more natural. There is a wealth of apps available for beginners, to help you get started with practicing this.