That which is unspoken sometimes speaks louder than that which is said.
Body language, which includes gestures, facial expressions, posture and tone of voice, send nonverbal signals to audiences. These signals can either amplify or undermine our messages. This principle applies equally to an audience of of one or of thousands.
In their song “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelin says, “sometimes words can have two meanings.” The same can be said about the words our bodies speak. For example, a person who is unable to maintain eye contact is often seen as shifty or untrustworthy. I know of a person who cannot look others in the eye for long. However, he is an honest businessman and a generous employer full of integrity and fully trustworthy. He was severely abused as a child and hence suffers a lifelong struggle with self esteem which makes it difficult for him engage in eye contact with anyone but his little girl.
Because body language can convey unintended meanings, it’s important that we learn and master our gestures and expressions. The upside to doing this is that it can help increase sales. Preparing for presentations should include weaving in the appropriate body language at specific and opportune points. Great rock bands like Aerosmith get this principle and so should we.
In fact, body language can create a sort of bonding, particularly in one-on-one presentations. Studies have shown that tactfully imitating someone else’s body language can help connect to that person. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on this topic well worth a read called, “Use Mirroring to Connect with Others.”
Check it out and consider some of the components that may help you better connect to your audiences. As you do, consider how you can transition imitating your prospect’s body language into more quickly gaining your prospect’s trust. The key is to be genuine. That which is forced will be obvious. Having confidence in yourself along with knowledge and belief in your products or services is the first key step. Mastering body language will quickly become second nature once you put it to practice.