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Let me hear your body talk

With Valentine’s Day this weekend thoughts begin turning to love, romance and how to woo that special someone.

While there are plenty of ways to let your Valentine know how you’re feeling, one of the most important methods of romantic communication is body language. While romantic body language may be easy to understand, a loving gaze, a light touch on the arm, that subtle lean closer; body language for the professional sphere is quite another story.

When it comes to the workplace and your career here are our list of dos and a couple of don’ts for letting your body do the talking.

The Dos

Do have good posture – Posture is key, standing straight not only makes you look and feel taller but helps you to appear more confident and self-assured. Bad posture can hint at bad habits and can give the perception of laziness and indecisiveness.  After all, good posture is as important to your health as it is to your communication.

Do make eye contact – Along with correct posture, making eye contact is one of the fundamental no-brainers of great body communication. Applicable to any situation, business, romantic or otherwise making eye contact is of the utmost importance when communicating with others. Eye contact lets others know that you are not only listening but engaged in the conversation.

Do command your space – Adopting an assertive stance and hand gestures when presenting to or meeting with others is indicative of not only confidence but energy and knowledge. It may sound like a trivial detail; however, standing with crossed ankles can make one appear hesitant and timid. Make sure to adopt a wide stance and use open hand gestures to attract and engage your audience.

Do lower your voice – Although not strictly a form of body talk, taking a deep breath and lowering the pitch of our voice in the workplace can alter how you are perceived by your colleagues. It is important to speak clearly and deliberately in a professional context and easing the pitch of your voice to its optimal level can help convey your message with purpose and authority.

The Don’ts

Don’t fidget – Fidgeting can project nervousness, stress and distraction. Whether your subconscious pacifier is to tap your pen or bounce your feet under the table, too much fidgeting can take away credibility from what you are saying.

Don’t use closed or blocking language – Some people naturally and subconsciously cross their arms or place their hands on their hips when talking to others. These are common forms of closed body language that create an unwanted barrier between you and the person you are addressing.