As non-verbal communication forms an essential part of a professional impression, these same cues can be used to sending different images whether weak in terms of nervousness and confusion or strong in terms of confidence. Guiding our cues to present confident body language will require constant vigilance and practice of what we say and how we say in a confident manner, especially in job interviews.
A few topics that you can do self-study on, are Albert Mehrabian’s model for communication and perception, Anthony Robbins and Louise Hay on positive phrases and presentation of yourself to the world. Work on eye movements – and how facial expressions and eye movements are together used for lie detecting and in interrogation techniques. It’s interesting to read and learn how the smallest of expressions- micro-expressions create a huge impact.
Our purpose with this blog is to make you aware so that you can act upon these perceptions consciously and work to improve your first impression.
Body Language &Posture
Non-Verbal Communication: Facial expression: this is important in terms of showing the emotional state of mind. Confusion and nervousness can be easily shown in the face through expressions. A calm and composed facial expression has to be maintained in order to show confidence.
Drooping shoulders, dropping spine, fidgeting with hands and trembling legs all can be shown in a bad posture that should be avoided.
Best body language tips
- Keep your spine straight – while sitting or standing (posture)
- Keep your arms open, do not cross them across your chest
- While standing, do not cross them behind your body, or the front of your body
- Don’t touch any part of your body, esp face.
- Sit all the way back in your seat- not on the edge or on one side
- Keep your palms facing upwards
- Maintain eye contact
- Do not play/fidget with a pen, your sleeve, a book
- Do not keep shaking your hand or your leg
To show you are listening
- Lean in, when they start to talk
- Nod every now and then to indicate you are listening (do not over nod)
- Use words like ‘OK’, ‘All-right’, ‘Yes’ to show that you have understood
Important things about gesture –
- Hand gestures can make or break communication.
- Keep an open palm gesture while explaining something
- Be conservative about how much you move your arms. While they distract, they can also give the impression of a highly emotional person
Match the expressions with the emotions-
- Keep a smile
- When thinking, restrict eye movement
- Don’t raise your eyebrows too much
- Don’t Frown
- Don’t over-smile
- Don’t show extreme negative emotions, even if the questions trigger such a memory. Present the answers in a relaxed and confident manner
Remember these while shaking hands
- Extend your open palm firmly
- The web between your thumb and forefinger should connect with the web of the other person’s hand
- Shake the hand twice
- The contact should not last more than 3 secs
- Maintain eye contact while shaking hands
Personal Appearance, when it comes to how we look, is something we cannot discuss. After all, Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
However, what we can control is how we appear with clean clothes, neatly combed hair, and non-oily and non-dry skin. All of these things give an impression of personal appearance. It’s more important that we appear neat and clean rather than fashionable.
Take care of the following things especially
- Style: Western, Indian and Semi
- Colours of the textile
Some dos and don’ts
- Keep it simple(Clothes, accessories and footwear)
- Choose plain solid colours without many patterns
- See that you are wearing right size
- Smell Right, not strong
- Use a mouth freshner & a deodrant
- Don’t wear sparkly wear unless there is an occasion
- Colours should not be bright all the time
- Tight clothes should be avoided
- Over accessorise
- Wear too much jewellery
Hand Gestures, Facial Expressions & Eye Contact
- Eye contact is important to show integrity in what we say. This also builds confidence of those who we converse with.
- Confident hand gestures might just add weight and emphasis of what we say. But we should be mindful of the gestures.
- Use hand gestures wisely: This is because if we swing our hands too much, the listener’s attention may be distracted to our gestures.
Shaking Hands & Personal Space
This is an extremely sensitive and important topic to handle as it is about respecting personal space, and not getting into ‘intimate’ zones as many people tend to cross the line. It’s important to make them aware that it’s not okay to touch each other while talking. And while we may do that with our closest friends, it is highly avoidable with people of the opposite gender, and with work colleagues even if they are women.
Shaking Hands, on the other hand, makes people feel that it is an intimate act, whereas it is not. In a business set up, one is expected to shake hands with confidence and that does not in any way mean intimacy.
|Used Phrases||Suggested Phrases|
|Ok||Sure, Of course|
|I don’t know…||What I do know is…|
|I am not sure…||What I am sure about is…|
|I am not aware….||Let me check on that…Let me find out.. I will find out more about this|
|Ok…||That’s a great idea, an excellent suggestion|
|Yes||I completely agree. That’s perfect|
|I apologize, I am extremely sorry||I am sorry|
|Why||Could you please tell me why|
|Can I||May I|
|Correct me if I am wrong||Help me clarify what I know.|