The position you take in the room:
The posture you adopt as you speak:
The expression you put on your face: these 3 hot body language tips will change how other people feel about you, often resulting in greater connection, more likeability, and more success in business.
And if you want people to connect with you, buy into you as a person, and buy from you, then these three tips will improve on what you’re currently achieving.
So let’s get straight into it.
Under what circumstances will these tips work?
At networking meetings, in business meetings, when meeting people for the first time, when you are trying to serve or sell, when you have an important point to make, when you want people to remember you and what you say, when you want people to engage with you and take the conversation further.
Tip #1 – Choose where you sit carefully
If you are going to a meeting where you will ‘claim’ your seat – typically a networking event where you sit down to eat, or a meeting where you all sit around a table for discussion, debate or ‘sharing’.
Evidence shows that we pay someone more attention, and they acquire more ‘power’ or ‘presence’ when they sit or stand in the middle of the row of seated individuals.
There is often more than one table. The table and chairs might be circular or horse-shoe shaped, and which ever ‘side’ or ‘head table’ you choose to sit at, always choose the seat in the middle or as close to the middle of the row as possible. If the seating is circular, then see if there is a ‘centre’ and choose that (if it isn’t already taken by the group leader). If there is a number of separate tables, then again, consider if there is a natural ‘middle’ of the table or room and choose that position.
Sitting at the end or corner of the group is, conversely, the weakest position in the room. Avoid if possible.
Tip #2 – Choose your posture carefully
Strike a power pose
Psychologists have found that expansive, open postures make people feel more comfortable and powerful in stressful situations like presenting and speaking to groups. One study by Harvard Business School social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, found that when you adopt a power pose, there is an increase in testosterone and a decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol. Interestingly, even holding a power pose for several minutes before going in for a job interview, and then sitting or standing normally would make the person more persuasive and more likely to be hired as a result.
The particular power pose that I have used many times with immense success (yes, this has actually produced ‘sales’) is to stand up, lean forward on the table in front of you, arms wide, palms on the table facing forwards with fingers pointing backwards.
I would add that from this position, what works really well is a very intimate delivery which I would say is like sharing a secret with your best friends.
Tip #3 – Look at & listen to the person you’ve just met with a specific facial sequence
When you first meet someone, it’s obviously really important how you introduce yourself or how you are introduced by someone else, but perhaps even more important than that is what you do with your face as you listen to the first few sentences the other party utters.
Show respect, patience, interest and admiration
We know that people like us more when we show respect, patience, interest and admiration.
But there is a way of increasing how much they like us, by how we use our face as they speak to us.
The obvious tip here is to say ‘smile’, but smiling on its own is not the most powerful way of connecting in the first few minutes.
So here’s the sequence to adopt if your aim is for the other person to connect with you strongly and to really ‘like’ you.
As they start speaking, look at them with a narrowing of your eyes, so that you look like you’re really paying attention. Look like you’re trying to peer through the mist, like it’s quite hard to see them. Look like you’re really trying to work out whether you like them or not.
Now this might seem counter-intuitive, but what actually happens is they will suspect (often subconsciously) that you’re sussing them out, and feel very slightly uneasy about your facial expression. They’ll think ‘what does this mean?’ ‘Why am I being scrutinised in this way?’
THEN, as they draw to the END of what they’re saying, let your broadest, friendliest smile show them that you really like what they’ve just been saying: that you really like them.
This produces a sense of relief, or pleasure that they’ve done well and that they have your ‘approval’. Psychologically this is much more powerful, than simple acceptance of them without any qualification.
We enjoy approval and acceptance so much that anyone who is overtly shown to be accepting us is given psychological ‘brownie points’ by the person who is being accepted. We will do (almost) anything to have our self-esteem boosted, and your gift to the other person by using this little facial expression sequence will boost their self-esteem. Result: they’ll really like you for it.
Here’s my ‘How to be more likeable’ video on YouTube – 4000 + views can’t be bad![youtube]http://youtu.be/gvMCzlzJZUY[/youtube]