Body Language Improvement Tips You Need to Know
Body language improvement is quite vital, because only 20% or thereabouts of our communication is verbal. The rest is non-verbal. Therefore, it is extremely important for one to understand their body language if they are to use it maximally. Most people find it troublesome to completely master their body language. In addition, many people are of the opinion that body language is not important. The few individuals who know its importance want to improve their body language but cannot.
Here is what you must do.
What to know in order to make a body language improvement plan
First of all, one can only improve their body language by being aware of their current body language. You cannot talk about changing your hand gestures, facial expressions or sitting posture unless you know your current expressions. As such, before you embark on the journey to improve your body language, first understand the following:
- How you sit
- The way you stand
- Your hand motions when you speak
- How you align your legs when standing
- Facial expressions you use most often
One of the best ways to understand your body language is to practice talking to a ghost person in the mirror. Almost always, you will discover many things about your body language that you didn’t know. Furthermore, practicing in the mirror allows you a lot of privacy because you will be alone. In addition, you can ask your best friends to explain some aspects of your body language to you. Due to much time spent with you, friends may reveal much more about your boy language than a mirror. Once you’ve gathered all the information, you will know what you do wrong and how to change it.
A great approach to improving your body language is through observing people with good body language. These could be movie stars, athletes or your role models in general. Taking the good tips from these individuals and practicing them will work miracles. Probably, you will appear to be faking your body language to some keen people. However, understand that you cannot change your body language in a day. Note that you have probably been sitting like that or using your face like that all your life. Consequently, it’s going to take some serious practice to change the lifetime habits that comprise your body language. Rather than approaching it as a challenge, take it as a new skill and remember that practice makes perfect.
You might also want to slow down your movements and your speech. If you do so, your feelings will be more controllable when you communicate. As a result, you will be able to command you gestures better because gestures come from our feelings. Do not be too conscious of the people around you. They are not as keen as you think. Take your time and practice, and you will improve your body language before you know it.
The DOs and DON’Ts of good body language
It is completely impossible to capture all the components of how to improve your body language. Hence, only the commonest gestures and body pastures can be addressed here. The list below captures some of the most common DOs and DON’Ts of how to improve your body language.
1. Do not cross your arms and legs
Crossed arms and legs are a clear sign of defensiveness. Therefore, you don’t want to be sitting with your hands tight over your chest or legs crossed. You will ward off the person you’re talking to. Keep your chest free of your hands and your legs wide apart to show approachability and openness.
2. Keep eye contact without staring
Eye contact shows that you are keen on what you are being told. This move will improve your body language a lot because it will help you gain one’s trust and assurance. However, remember to keep your eyes alive and look away once in a while. Too much eye contact is staring and staring is a conversation killer. Unless you want to scare the person you are talking to, do not stare.
3. Relax your shoulders
It is normal to feel tense during an interaction. Nonetheless, the tension should not affect your ability to communicate. So next time you feel tense, try to relax your shoulders. Shake them up faintly and try to push them back as if you’re leaning into your seat. Relaxed shoulders assure people that you trust them and are comfortable around them.
4. Sit up in your chair
Do not slouch in your seat. As much as you may feel tired or bored, the need to sit with your back straight is far more important. This act will leave a good impression of you. Don’t you want that?
5. Keep your head up
When you drop your gaze you make one of two impressions: either you seem unconfident and lost or untrustworthy. Therefore, keeping your head up ensures that you stay open and earn the trust and respect of your addresser.
6. Slow down
Slow down your speech, walking, hand gestures, everything. Although some people argue against this move, it’s only because they fail to recognize its importance. Slowing down makes you calm, confident, and composed. These attributes make you easier to address and even easier to be heard. Turn your neck slowly towards someone who has addressed you, be gentle in your hand gestures, and so on.
7. Gesticulate confidently
Hands can either improve your body language or fail you terribly It all depends on you. Using them confidently and controllably will help you seem in control. Conversely, if you are not confident with your hands they will flail and fidget. You will end up seeming unconfident. Therefore, make measured and confident gestures with your hands in order to cut a good impression.
8. Keep your face free of your hands
Touching your face when you are talking or being talked to is a show of nervousness. In this regard, people who touch their face while talking can never be taken seriously. Keep your face free of your hands in order to exude truth.
9. Nod when you’re being addressed
Nodding when being addressed shows you are keenly following what is being said. Since many people know this, they nod at every third word they hear. This is gravely wrong. Please do not over-nod. Telling if a person is over-nodding is very easy. Not only do you clearly appear to be faking it, over-nodding is very irritating. It makes your addresser feel insulted. As a result, you need to be very careful with this gesture if you’re trying to improve your body language.
10. Do not sit tight, take up some space
Self-confidence is essential to good communication. Surprisingly, sitting or standing with one’s legs apart and taking up some space is the best way to show self-confidence. Do not sit or stand curled up like a worm because people will immediately notice your discomfort. Sit with your legs apart, and if you complement this with healthy hand gestures, you will communicate amazingly.
11. Lean in a little
Leaning in shows interest in what you are being told. On the other hand, leaning back shows that you are confident and at ease. Depending on what you want to communicate, lean in or back. In addition to leaning, nod confidently while keeping eye contact for the ultimate show of understanding.
12. Hold your drink low
A glass or wine or a mug of coffee held close to the chest works in the same way as crossed arms. It is a sign of defensiveness. Hold your drink low, just around the navel area, when being addressed. Furthermore, hold the drink with one hand and gesticulate with the other. This should immensely improve your body language, especially in formal surrounds.
13. Remember to laugh and smile
Experts say a genuine smile is the greatest gesture of all. No good emotion is communicated better than through a smile. Better yet, you could laugh to show you are enjoying the conversation and that the joke is great. Smile warmly and genuinely when you are introduced to someone. Laugh at a good joke, as long as you aren’t the first one to laugh at your own jokes. The last thing you want to seem is needy.
14. Relax, do not fidget
This tip goes hand in hand with the “slow down” tip when it comes to body language improvement. Do not tap your foot against the floor. Do no drum your fingers on the table. Worse still, do not check you watch. Relax and stay composed. Speak in a measured tone and pause calmly. Most importantly, declutter all your movements and make only the relevant gestures. If you master the art of relaxing, there is little else to do in order to improve your body language.
15. Do not stand in the other person’s space
Standing too close to someone makes them feel uneasy. Essentially, standing within a foot of someone you aren’t intimate with makes them feel like their space is being invaded. Make sure to stand at an arms length from someone. Remember, however, that people are also uneased when you stand too far from them. They may feel like there is something wrong with them. Conclusively, do not stand too close, and do stand more than a meter away. Keep a friendly but not intimate or uneasy distance.
16. Mirror their gestures
Individuals who have a good connection tend to use the same gestures unconsciously when talking to each other. As such, you want to start mirroring some people gestures in order to improve your connection with them. As much as mirroring works, do not use their exact gestures as soon as they gesticulate. It will get weird. Remember to do it lightly and sparingly.
17. When sitting, realize where your spine ends
A lot of times when people sit upright, they end up craning their neck forward. This strange body posture is a result of not understanding where the spine ends. Especially relevant to sitting upright is the knowledge that the spine ends in the back of the head. Therefore, remember to sit with your head, neck and spine aligned. Do not crane your neck; it is a very unsettling sight.
18. Be warm, a good attitude helps
A good and warm attitude makes you look and feel open to other people. This will go a long way in making you an agreeable person and great company. It is a great way in body language improve ment.
The tips highlighted above are very helpful for your body language improvement. Remember to keep a checklist of the things you want to do with your body language. Most of all, remember to practice on a daily basis in order to make any progress at all.