In communication, each of our gestures says a lot about our mood, intentions, and attitude . That’s why it’s so important that, as an entrepreneur, you have the ability to project confidence through your body language.
Why is it important to be confident? Because, as the experts explain, in this way we can take control of the message we are sending by generating confidence and tranquility in our interlocutor.
If we are not aware of this ability , we could affirm one thing, but communicate another with our gestures. For example, how would you feel when someone assures you that they will pay you a debt, but does not look you in the eye? Or someone who conveys to you that they are interested in your business proposal, but listens to you with their arms crossed and in a defensive position?
As a results-focused entrepreneur, the last thing you want is to sabotage your opportunities through your body language . So today we share these five tips so you can learn to use it to your advantage, both when you have face-to-face meetings and online.
#1. Maintain a posture of safety at all times
The first step to looking confident is to maintain a posture that experts call “assertive”; that is to say, that allows you to transmit —firmly, but without aggressiveness— your message, your opinions and your emotions in front of another person.
To achieve this, when you are standing, place your feet slightly apart, to maintain balance, and point towards your interlocutor to show your interest in the conversation. Your back and head should remain straight, with your shoulders relaxed and slightly back (don’t bring them up, this could strain them).
If you are sitting or in a Zoom session , reach up and place your feet flat on the floor, without crossing your legs. Lean forward slightly, to show that you are listening and also to improve the lighting on your face.
In both cases, always breathe slowly and deeply; especially when you are participating in a complicated meeting in which you want to avoid stressing out and losing your composure.
#two. Take positions of power
Did you know that there are some body positions that can transmit to the brain that you feel safe and, therefore, allow you to eliminate negative thought patterns and lower your stress level? To enter this virtuous circle, experts recommend incorporating the so-called “power postures”; For example: when you are about to close an agreement, place your hands on the table and lean slightly forward, while looking into your interlocutor’s eyes. This is a position of dominance that through the hands transmits honesty and transparency.
During a presentation you can also convey enthusiasm and confidence through your arms and hands ; Of course, always in an elegant and controlled way.
#3. pay attention to your face
The face is a very powerful transmitter of our emotions. It is not about avoiding them, but about controlling them and using them to our advantage to achieve our goals. So the first step is to ask your family and friends what our gestures transmit . For example, do you open your eyes too wide when you speak and convey nervousness? Or maybe you frown too much, which can show anger?
Once you’ve spotted your most common expressions, practice in front of a mirror or a computer screen (for example via a Skype broadcast involving only you) how to speak in a more relaxed and composed manner. To achieve this, it is best to relax your muscles and smile more frequently, naturally, slightly rolling your eyes.
#4. control your hands
Hands are great communication tools . When they are open or with the palms up , they show openness, generosity, capacity for cooperation and trust . Instead, a clenched fist is aggressive and conveys rigidity and insecurity.
Experts also recommend avoiding pointing the index finger towards our interlocutor, because this is always aggressive. When you want to express emotion for an idea you can point to your audience or to the screen with the open palm facing up and with the fingers together .
#5. Avoid nervous and repetitive movements
We all have some gestures that we unconsciously repeat when we’re nervous, like tapping our feet, snapping our fingers, or playing with our hair. When we are in front of a client or supplier, or even during an important personal conversation, we must avoid them; since they transmit stress, boredom and frustration .
To achieve this, the first step is to recognize them. Then, identify what triggers those habits so you can control them and replace them with new ones. For example, if in meetings you tend to pick up a pen and twirl it around in your hand, leave it on the table and keep it out of reach. Or if you are always touching your face, place your hands in your lap and take a deep breath while smiling naturally.