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10 Minute Body Language:
Communicate With Confidence

The secret to all communication is making your point clearly and effectively. Whether you are negotiating a pay rise or arguing with a loved one, you always need to make clear what it is that you’re saying. Your body is as important as your voice for doing this. How you carry and present yourself can make the difference between somebody merely letting your voice wash over them, or truly understanding and responding to you. Here are a few pointers to help you ensure that you say what you really want to say every time.

Others won’t take you seriously if you don’t look like you are taking yourself seriously to begin with. Allow your physical presence to echo the impression you want to make with your words. To create an impression of confidence you should stand or sit firmly, without swaying or fidgeting. Keep your head still and your back straight and even lean slightly forward and whoever you’re talking to will know that you feel sure in what you are saying.

Use your hands

As every good politician knows, the way you use your hands can be as important as what you say. David Cameron has studied Tony Blair’s emphatic style, thrusting the back of one hand into the palm of the other to punctuate his points convincingly. Gordon Brown, by contrast, looks much more at sea, and often rearranges his hands nervously while he’s speaking.

Make eye contact

The eyes are our most valuable tool when trying to get a point across. Eye contact plays a big part in striking rapport and establishing trust, while a lack of it can hinder your message. By maintaining eye contact with those you’re addressing – moving steadily from person to person if faced with a group – you can control their attention. Make sure you are not staring – you don’t want to scare people off.

Do you have trouble making yourself understood?

The next time you are trying to persuade someone of something, consider the impression you are giving as you speak. Are your eyes wandering? Perhaps you keep crossing your legs or fidgeting with your clothes? Many of us get nervous when we speak and our body language becomes confused. The same thing can happen if we aren’t convinced by what we are saying. Focus on the other person and imagine you are willing your point onto them. You will find that you instantly become much more convincing. Even if they disagree with what you are saying, the people you are talking to will know exactly what your point is.Of course, none of this will help if you’re talking a lot of rubbish.

February 24, 2010

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