What’s the secret to effective communication?
Some people say it’s talking clearly. Others might say it’s being empathetic.
The truth is, 55% of communication is body language, while 38% is tone of voice and 7% is the actual words spoken.
So if you want to rapidly improve your communication, it’s most effective to start with the body.
And in today’s post, we’re going to go over 8 body language tricks that you might not know about it.
While they might be hard to master at first, if you stick at it, they’ll benefit you for a lifetime.
1) Mirror the person you’re speaking to
This is all about aligning your body to match the position of who you’re speaking to.
There’s something quite powerful when you meet someone who just “gets you”. When you start mimicking their body language, they’ll start to feel more connected to you. You’re showing them that you’re similar.
People who are attracted to one another end up in sync with one another. They pick up on each other’s mannerisms and adopt similar speech patterns.
It’s an unconscious process but you can trigger it intentionally through mirroring.
Hint: It’s important to be subtle about it!
2) Walk with purpose and energy.
Not everyone walks with confidence. In fact, most people slump their shoulders and look down.
But according to Scientific American, people make snap judgements about confidence, attractiveness and trustworthiness. And you can improve these judgements simply by walking straight and standing tall.
3) Maintain eye contact.
People who struggle to maintain eye contact come across as anxious, distracted or dishonest. While this can be a tough skill for some people to master as they can feel awkward, it’s a practice that can help you immensely.
Communication expert Leil Lowndes advises you to, “pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner’s with sticky, warm taffy.”
Once you start focusing on this, you’ll immediately see an improvement in your face-to-face communications with others.
4) Keep your hands visible.
It can be hard to know what to do with your hands, especially if you’re talking to a group of people. You might compulsively jam them in your pockets or cross your arms. However, these moves can project a negative image.
But by showing your hands and using more open body language, you can let people in and make them feel more comfortable.
5) Don’t fidget, but don’t be too stiff.
Some people can come across as fearful or annoying if they’re constantly twitching their fingers or tapping their toes. However, you should also watch out for people who aren’t moving at all.
It’s actually natural to move your body around in subtle and relaxed ways when you’re in conversation. Someone who is completely rigid is a warning sign that something is a little off.
Try to strike a balance between swaying and stiffness.
6) Sit up straight.
Your parents likely yelled at you when you had a terrible posture as a moody teen. While it may have been annoying at the time, they were onto something.
Slumping over in a chair can indicate that you lack confidence. However, sitting up straight is seen as a sign of intelligence, confidence and credibility.
Your posture is not always easy to correct when you sit, but it can be done.
7) Work on your handshake.
No one wants to receive a “dead fish” handshake. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “a weak handshake means a weak person.” So, how do you give off a good impression with a handshake?
Arora from Linkedin breaks it down: “When squeezing your hand you want the grip to be tight enough to feel the bones of the other person’s hand lightly pressing into your skin and then keeping the same amount of pressure while you make two to three moderately strong shakes in the vertical plain. Maintain eye contact and a smile throughout.”
8) Slow down.
When you’re nervous, it can be easy to speed up everything, including your movements. However, it’s far better to try to slow down.
Take a deep breath, slow down and be more intentional with your movements. You’ll come across as more confident and competent.