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Using body language

Did you know first impressions are based on body language?

It’s a widely-held belief that 55 percent of communication is body language, 38 percent is the tone of voice, and 7 percent is the actual words spoken.

Body language is what our body says, despite what we may speak. Feelings and attitudes that are communicated through conscious and unconscious movements and postures.

We all want to make a good first impression, don’t we? A few body language tips might help you out in the future.

Good posture is important.

And here are some more important points:

* Have your feet hip-width apart
* Think tall
* Stay tall, but relax your shoulders
* In fact, be as relaxed as possible while maintaining your posture
* Don’t puff out your chest; doing this is somewhat intimidating

When you walk into a room, smile like you want to be there and greet people. Now when I say greet, I don’t just mean say “hello” – make eye contact.

Making eye contact shows confidence, positivity and people feel like you’re more willing to get to know them. Looking away can instantly send negative signals. Maybe you don’t have attention for the other person? Or you have something to hide. And shake their hands. Naturally, the handshake is the most obvious way to connect physically.

There are many types of handshakes which can indicate various things. A firm handshake shows dominance, a soft handshake shows you’re accommodating; a vigorous one shows enthusiasm, accompanied by a second-hand clasp, which indicates you care. Most would say a firm-but-gentle handshake is the way to go.

There are many forms of handshake learn more about this click here.

It’s always important to relax. Position yourself so that you are open to the other person. Don’t cover your chest, i.e. cross your arms, and don’t slouch. By not doing so you’ll be more comfortable and come across as trustworthy.

Try not to lean on objects and turn your body to face who you are talking to. If you lean against an object, you may seem bored or passive. If you angle your body away, you may seem insecure.

Make your neutral face a happy one. Some people naturally looks angry or annoyed, commonly known as ‘resting bitch face syndrome’.

A final thought: to enhance your body language, the next time you meet someone for the first time, try the “mirroring” technique, but be subtle about it. It’s as simple as noticing how who you’re with is positioning themselves, and doing you the same. Mirroring research has shown people feel more comfortable around you and may like you better if you stand the way they do. If they’re smiling, smile back. That simple.

Good luck making your future first impressions.

To read more about body language, click here.

Finlay Robertson
Finlay is a 20-year-old music lover from Wellington who has recently made the decision to take on Auckland City and pursue her dreams. Her passion for writing and broadcast has led to her studies at the NZ Radio Training School.
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