Better Body Language

What is your body language saying about you?

Professional actors are finely tuned to their emotions, enabling them to speak with the movement of a hand.  An effective spokesperson also makes use of body movements to convey appropriate emotion.

 

The following gestures and expressions are considered positive and convey personal interest and self-confidence:

  • Look people in the eye;
  • Lean slightly forward, if seated;
  • Make hand movements that occur naturally as a supplement to what you are saying;
  • Listen intently to anyone who asks a question;
  • Listen to what other people have to say.

The following gestures and expressions tend to be negative and convey tension and nervousness:

  • Inappropriate smiling, laughter;
  • Tightly clasped hands;
  • Hands gripping sides of chairs, tables, knees;
  • Hands toying with pencils, water glasses, buttons, microphones;
  • Drumming on the tabletop;
  • Tightening and loosening of jaw;
  • A ramrod straight, unnatural posture.

These movements convey impatience and discomfort:

  • Swinging legs;
  • Shifting in chair;
  • Shifting eyes.

These movements convey guilt and disinterest:

  • Casting eyes toward ceiling;
  • Failure to look at the audience;
  • Slouching posture;
  • Closing eyes.

Where in the World is Anthony?

Spoke all day today in Fort Wayne, Indiana at a construction association leadership academy. Negotiation tip 33: Don't mirror your opponent's demeanor, especially if the tone/questions are negative.

Spoke this morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Crisis tip 17: Don't do news interviews directly in front of the crisis scene. The news media want to show you in front of the "trainwreck." Resist!

Worked today in Denver with a soon-to-be very large credit union association. Presenting tip 6: Remove physical -- or virtual barriers -- that disconnect you from your audience (lectern, table, spacing, bad camera angle, distracting background, etc.).

Speaking this week in Colorado, Tennessee and Indiana. Messaging tip 19: Too many talking points leads to watering down of core message. PRIORITIZE!

Spoke today in Columbus, OH. Virtual tip 6: Here's my take on camera ON vs. camera OFF debate. If in the "old days" meeting was a phone call, then cameras OFF. If it was an in-person meeting, then cameras ON. Set expectations in meeting invite whether it'll be camera ON or OFF

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