Body Language- Your Secret Weapon or a Dead Giveaway? - [website] Email Print
Published: 21st of May 2021 by: Shona Potgieter

Did you know that a large percentage of communication is non-verbal? This can include facial expressions, body posture, gestures and eye movement. We refer to this as our body language.

What you might not realise is that body-language can actually account for majority of information 'transmitted' during our interpersonal interactions.

Often, we don't even realise what messages we are sending out with our body-language or how we are perceived by others. That's why it's so important to pay extra attention to the way we carry and portray ourselves.

Will your body language be your secret weapon or your dead giveaway? What do I mean? Let me elaborate:
If we utilise our body language it can help us portray ourselves as how we would like to be perceived, rather than how we are really feeling. Let's use an example... You have a presentation coming up at work and you find yourselves feeling quite nervous. You'd like to come across as confident, sure of yourself and your presentation. So what can you do? Adjust our body language... Your secret weapon.

So what are a few body-language tricks and adjustments we can use to our advantage?

Pay attention to Posture. Make sure your shoulders are back and chest is open, good posture portrays courage and power. Hunched shoulders make you seem insecure.

Practise smiling more often. Smiling makes you more trustworthy, but it also improves your stress-levels (a handy little psychological trick)

Don't forget your arms and legs. Crossing your arms makes you seem unapproachable, closed off. The same with your legs, when you cross your legs towards another person you are showing more interest than when they are crossed away in the other direction.

Stop Fidgeting! This immediately portrays a lack of confidence.

Eye Contact. A lack of eye contact during a conversation can seem dishonest, or insecure. When you make eye contact with your peers you immediately seem more confident; and it's also a great way of showing others that you are listening and paying attention.

Gestures. It can look quite unnatural to have your arms merely hanging at the side of your body while communicating, and you won't just look unnatural and uncomfortable- you'll feel it! Use your hands while speaking, be engaged with the conversation and your body.

The next time you walk into a room, do a presentation or attend a meeting at work, pay attention to what you are doing with your body...
Are you standing up straight? Are your arms crossed? Shoulders hunched? Remember, actions speak louder than words.

What you don't say, might just say more than your actual words.

At Staff Training we offer an excellent Presentation Skills workshop that is designed to help you in all areas of presenting at work, find our next workshop on our training calendar here

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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