We are often reminded that “The First Impression is the Last Impression.”
How long it takes for the ‘First Impression’ to be made?
10 minutes? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? 1 hour?
We all are wrong till now; Researchers have found that it takes only 7 seconds amidst your first contact to create a First Impression. Amazing! Isn’t It? But how we can impress any Stranger in just 7 seconds of our lives?
That’s where Body language comes into play!
Body language contributes to the major part of the attitude you want to convey to another individual. According to Albert Mehrabian, 7% of what is communicated is via what is said, 38% is via tone of voice, and the majority, 55%, is via body language. This is also referred to as the ‘7%–38%–55% Rule’.
If to date, you have failed at any point of the time to create a Good-First Impression, or you have messed up your dates due to poor body language, or even your colleagues do not appreciate your presence, Let’s change the whole game together! Let’s start making an Inviting Aura! Let’s make your social interaction a big success!!
People with Social Anxiety Disorder, unknowingly display anxious or inappropriate non-verbal cues which in-turn lead the people around them to turn off. It is important to be aware of your body language to make a difference, otherwise, you are in big trouble!
Keeping a check upon your body language signals can save you from landing in disasters. Slouching, fidgeting, shaking your legs, looking down, crossing arms are a big NO, NO!
Start paying attention to everything and anything you do, when you do and where you do.
Confidence is the Key!
During my college National-level ‘Paper Presentation Competition’, I still remember, how my confidence led me to win the competition. I was asked a question after the presentation from one of the Juries which I had no idea about. Instead of fidgeting, breathing profusely, or looking here and there, I answered whatever came to my mind and whatever I feel was right. My confidence was so on point (which was visible in my standing posture and hand gestures) that the professor thought it to be the right explanation (which I knew was wrong).
Be confident while speaking, shake hand firmly, stand tall, walk with broader strides, sit straight, be clear while talking, and see how people around you turn their heads to applaud.
Eye Contact is necessary
Looking at someone while having a conversation send signals of interest and openness. Eye contact led to the formation of a connection between two people and portrays that the listener is listening. But you need to understand the difference between staring and looking.
As the wrong eye contact can also lead the other person to fly away. It’s important to look away from time to time to give another person space and comfort.
Hands can make a real difference
The way you shake hands with a person, tells a lot about your personality. A firm handshake portrays how confident you are as a person. Right-hand gestures can make your conversation a winning one, however, it can also break the whole rapport. If you are not confident while speaking, your hands may flail and fidget which is a big ‘NO’. Therefore, it is advised to use your hand gestures wisely and correctly to leave a good first impression on others.
Maintain Proper Distance
This one is in the Grey area as well, since some people are more comfortable with close talkers, others are not. But it is important to pay attention to those around you. Do they lean upon to hear you? Move closer to them. Are people backing away while having a conversation with you? For mercy’s sake, do not keep moving closer as they inch away!
Also, the distance you need to keep while having a conversation depends from one culture to another.
People like to see their body language mirrored as it makes them feel, the person in front is interested and has the same ideas and will empathize with them.
If you want to increase your sale, just observe the body language of your customer and try to depict the same. Bravo! You win their heart!
If you want to give your suitor a signal, simply Nod! Nodding is considered as a positive signal during the conversation and the person who is talking gets an idea that the other person is interested in his/her talk.
But remember, too much nodding is also hazardous.
Own your space
The way your feet are positioned tells a lot about you. Either it’s a small distance or a wide distance between your feet, you can be judged at any time. Those with naturally small frame appears timid, to counter this problem you can claim your space on the floor, stand feet apart (6-10 inches apart), keep your hands-on waist and visually trick the viewer by making you appear to look self-assured.
Smile, Smile, and Smile!
Can you name a person who does not love smiling? Probably No-one. (Except the person is a rude, crooked man). A smile can win hearts; it can melt anger and it can just uplift the whole damn room!
A smile is considered as one of the positive gestures made during a conversation. It depicts that a person is approachable and friendly. Smile is underused by leaders and can be used as an invitation to start or carry forward the conversation
Slight Bending is Important
Slouching or sit back posture is considered a bad posture and are inappropriate while having a conversation. Slouching send signals that you are too tired or under-confident while sitting back position displays your laid-off behavior. It is very important to sit straight, sit tall, and bend a slight to show your confidence, smartness, and interest in the conversation.
Also, Slouching causes core muscle weakening which, ironically, predisposes you to lower back problems. So, correct your posture from today onwards to keep you fit and healthy too.
Now, as you’re probably hyper-aware of everything you need to do and do not do, take a deep breath and relax.
Adjusting yourself based upon all the above pointers will take a handful of practice and patience. With a dose of awareness and applying these techniques gently over time, you’ll be able to gaze at everyone around.
To begin from today, start observing great public speakers, movie stars, athletes, your role models. Keep a close watch on how they use hand gestures, in what position they sit, how they stand, and whatnot. Taking positive tips from these people can make wonders. However, try to understand that improving body language is not a one-day task. It takes time and patience. Just grab a cup of your favorite coffee, take a deep breath, and start implying this new skillset.