Most people find it hard to communicate with others. The reasons vary from person to person but the most common ones are anxiety, shyness and the fear of failure. In this article we will discuss about 10 body language tips to hone your communication skills and help you feel more relaxed around others.
By standing straight, you show your audience that you stand your ground and know what you are talking about. This position will help you breathe better, thus feeling more relaxed when talking to others.
No one likes fake smiles. Be genuine and smile naturally. It has been proven that smiling is contagious. It reflects your emotional feelings and makes others feel very comfortable around you. You don’t like listening to someone frowny talking, do you?
Make your hands an extension of your mouth. Accompany what you say with hand gestures to engage with the audience and make them feel they are part of your story. And don’t forget to keep looking at them, not the desk nor the floor, your audience is right in front of you, look at them. People tend to give more attention and like people more when the other person is looking them in the eyes.
If you are in a situation where you need to show authority, use small and stiff hand gestures with your palms visible. When people can see your palms while you are talking, their subconscious tells them that you have nothing to hide. It shows them that you are confident. One more reason to avoid having your arms crossed or in your pockets in the future.
Use the space you have available and move while you are talking to prove your points. This will keep the audience more attracted to the topic and help them absorb it easier. If you have for example to demonstrate three points, talk about the first while at your starting position, move two – three steps and talk about the second one then the third. This movement will stimulate your audience that you moved to the next point.
People have a short attention span and we get bored very easily. It’s really hard to keep them focused and here’s where gestures come to the rescue. Hand gestures, head movements, walking around, foot stomping etc. Learn how to correctly implement them in your speech and you will be surprised at how different your audience will be next time.
If your speech includes a slide show and you need to draw their attention at a certain element, point at it with your finger and look at it directly. People will instinctively follow your eyes and finger causing them to focus exactly where you want them to.
We all like being part of something. Engage with your audience and encourage participation. Ask them questions, let them speak their mind and walk among them if possible. They will be more open participate more if you are friendly and show that you care. Do not be distant.
If someone asked you a hard question, relax. Take a slow breath and pause. This will buy you enough time to think of the question and come up with a good answer. Look at the questioner directly in the eyes and give your answer. This way no one will notice that you were caught off guard by the question. It shows that you were prepared and really know what you are talking about. People will admire that.
I can’t stretch enough how important gestures are. Always use positive ones like nodding, smiling and open hand gestures. Mirroring is your best weapon so learn how to use it correctly. You want your audience to buy your story thus you have to shine with positive vibes.
Body language is a very strong communication skill. Using the above tips will get you in the right direction. It is very true that perfection comes with practice and you will notice drastic improvements every time. You can also practice them in front of a mirror to overcome social awkwardness.
What are your favorite gestures when talking? Do you have more tips? I’ll be glad to find out in the comments.