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?

Spent all day yesterday in Orlando working with Florida law enforcement officers. Q&A tip 68: Avoid "Deer in the Headlights" look with a "throwaway" line, a 5-second, perfectly memorized, meaningless phrase that comes spewing out of your mouth to buy you some think time.

Spent the last two days in my former hometown of Columbus, Ohio speaking at four different events. Messaging tip 19: Not all audiences (and platforms) should have the same message. Be relevant by being targeted.

Spoke today all day in Dallas at a Construction industry executive leadership conference. Q&A tip 17: Drop the person's name in the middle of the message you most want him or her to remember.

Speaking tomorrow in Dallas. Messaging tip 17: Start with the 20% you want your audience, prospects, employees, etc. to remember and build out messages from there.

Worked today in Richmond, VA with the executive team of a global chemical co. Crisis communications tip 46: Positive news stories NOW will protect your organization's reputation during a future crisis. Start building a "reservoir of goodwill." Think of it as a crisis "vaccine"

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