non verbal communication

The Nonverbal Advantage: Your 5 Tips to Boost Your Influence

You and most anyone, can improve body language to increase presence, influence and confidence. Many of us don’t realize that in everything we do, we are communicating something. The question is, are we communicating what we want to be communicating?

Nonverbal communication makes up the majority of our communication…up to 93%! 

I know, right?  Your facial expressions, your tone of voice, the way you wear your hair, make up, jewelry, your clothes and your body language, like hand gestures and posture are all telling a story…your story.  The important question is the story we’re telling the story we want to be telling?

Taking control of our non verbal communication can help us communicate our messages more effectively and increase our influence by reinforcing our verbal communication with our non verbal reinforcements.

Here are 5 tips to get you started:

  1. Show your hands.  Hands are trust factors so when you hide them in your pockets or under a table or desk at meeting or interviews you are essentially telling people you are hiding something even if you aren’t.  This makes trust building hard to take place reducing your trust, know and like factorability.

  2. Perfect your handshake.  A happy hormone is generated through touch and a good handshake equates to two hours of face time, so make sure yours is firm, vertical and dry. Keep it to one to two pumps. Any more and it’s just uncomfortable.  

  3. Gaze with purpose for impact. You want to be intentional about looking in to people’s eyes, but you don’t want to bring too much intensity to most social exchanges.  It can feel overly aggressive. Great eye contact is no more than 70%.  Any thing less makes you look avoidant or uninterested and any thing more like a creep.   Don’t be a creep. 

  4. Power Pose before your next big thing. That’s right, channel your inner Wonder Woman and strike a pose before you leave the house, in the ladies room or even in your office before walking into a big meeting.  This pose opens up your chest allowing you to take in deeper breaths and it changes our posture.  Mix in a mantra like, “You got this mama!” and immediately you will feel more energized. 

  5. Front with people. When we like something, we turn our whole body towards it, especially pointing our feet toward it.  Whether it be a sound, sight, smell, person or thing, we give it full attention by facing it.  When someone you want to make an impact or impression front with them.  It makes people feel valued or feel  your genuine interest or support with this non verbal cue.  After all, who doesn’t want to feel important?

These sound simple, right?  They are and can have great impact, but you need to practice them.  

Take on one of these skills to practice every day.  Once it feels comfortable and easy, move on to the next one.  

These five practices will become part of your everyday experience with practice and they will amp up your presence and influence simply because you’re intentionally putting others at ease and exuding confidence. 

This piece first appeared in Mompreneuer Success Network online publication

What's that face you're making?

Has your face ever blown your cover? Like totally betrayed you by sharing information before you were ready to share? Yeah, me too.  I would often get the question, "Are you mad?" or the dreaded one, "What's wrong?" when I was in meetings. It turns out that my thinking face looks like my angry face.  It got me into a lot of trouble.  

A few years ago I learned about the seven universal facial expressions and oh man, why don't we teach these skills in school??

This year I decided to get certified as a Body Language Specialist. So I did it to be able share non-verbal communication skills with my clients and friends.  It's life changing. Once you learn how to decode facial expressions and read non-verbal cues, it's impossible not to experience a whole new world.  

What's come to me as a result of learning these skills is that I'm now able to rectify some of my own non-verbal communication.  These skills help me in negotiations or meetings or even in social situations. When I see a micro expression of fear or surprise or yikes! contempt, I can offer more clarity on the topic or ease a pain point. 

Not everyone wants to be a human lie detector (yes, I can teach you these skills!) but who doesn't want to win at putting people at ease and being a better communicator? So the next time you ask WTF (What's the face)? call me, so we can talk about it.