5 Tips for Better Body Language in Meetings
In business, communication is used to make sales and build relationships, collaborate on projects, provide customer support, and much, much more. Did you know that body language makes up 55% of your communication?
Whether you are meeting face to face or using video conferencing, keep these 5 tips in mind for better body language while communicating face to face.
Be aware of how you are presenting yourself and your message through your body language.
1. Make sure nothing is crossed
Be relaxed. Having your arms, legs, or feet crossed can portray you as being closed off to your meeting counterparts.While crossing your arms can be a sign someone is comfortable, most people will misinterpret this as negative body language. Avoid any confusion and open yourself up to the people you are meeting with.
A little tip if you are wearing a jacket, open it up before or at the start of your meeting, this will give the impression that you are being open and honest.
2. Lean slightly forward and towards the person speaking
Leaning in gives the impression that you are interested and engaged in the conversations. It lets the person speaking know you are paying attention to what they have to say.
When you are using online video meeting software or in a conference room using video conferencing hardware, you can create the same impression by leaning slightly towards the camera. If using a laptop with a webcam, I suggest that you check your picture-in-picture to be sure your posture looks natural and you aren’t leaning too close to the camera. For example, if they can only see your forehead, you are too close.
3. Mirroring someone’s behavior can build rapport
Mirroring subconsciously builds a stronger connection between you and the person you are communicating with. Pay attention to their breathing and pace when speaking, then try to do the same. Be sure when you are mirroring motions, you are gradually doing so and not mirroring every motion they make (you don’t want to be like Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx on I Love Lucy).
4. Make eye contact
Direct eye contact is an easy way to build trust with a person and is a compliment to most people. This can be a little tricky over video, but looking directly into your camera will give the impression you are making eye contact with the people you are meeting.
While eye contact is a good thing in most meetings, you should be aware of any cultural differences because in some customs eye contact can be interpreted as a sign of disrespect.
4. Pay attention to how you are shaking someone’s hand
There is a perfect balance that should be achieved, not too hard, but not too soft. Your handshake is your first impression to show your confidence. According to Australian body language expert, Allan Pease, a handshake can affect the outcome of an interaction because it establishes your dominance or submissiveness.
Now I know you can’t shake someones hand over video, but I think this should apply to how you introduce yourself. Clearly state your name and position/company to show you are confident and comfortable.
Face to face communication is very important in building stronger relationships with teams and clients. While meeting in person or using video conferencing even the smallest details can change the way you are perceived by others.
Being aware of your body language can help you demonstrate confidence, trustworthiness, and create better business relationships. Next time you are having a conversation with someone, think about how your body language might be perceived and try to use some of these simple tips, it might just land you that dream job or win that big sales deal you have been working on.