The Power Of Body Language

When I was little, I didn’t care much for Math and Science. My parents thought that I should at least do one science, but I adamantly refused to add it to my list of subjects for the Caribbean Examinations and Cambridge. This is because deep down inside, I feared failure. I also admired my friends who could do those subjects with a seemingly natural ease and thought that I was inevitably going to be left in the dust. However, as an adult, I see some exceptionally brilliant people suffer when it comes to communication, as attitude sometimes is more important than aptitude. In other words, body language can speak volumes.

Positive body language can make the person with whom you’re communicating like you! Imagine that?  Think about it: if you’ve ever been to a cocktail reception or a party and tried chatting with a stranger, if he or she seems withdrawn, constantly checking the phone or perpetually looking at other people instead of you while you’re speaking, how would you feel? Conversely, if that person listens so carefully and reacts by nodding, agreeing or sympathising with what you say; and you feel as if you’re the only person in the room, how would you feel? Instantly, there is an unspoken appreciation on your part for the genuine attention of the other person. This means that we must constantly check ourselves to ensure that we are giving our audience of one our full attention.

A Princeton study reveals that just a one second video clip can predict the winner in an election.  Not a video of the candidate speaking, but of how he or she stands; the power pose. Keeping your shoulders upright (I constantly have to work on this), facing your audience with a smile or at least a pleasant demeanour and ensuring that your chin is up (chin up!) reveal a confident personality. Notice I wrote “confident” and not “arrogant” since some people can take body language to another level! Others are naturally drawn to those who are confident.  If you’re in a foul mood, smile. Even if you’re not in such a bad mood, go ahead and smile right now, as you’re reading this. A genuine smile puts you in a frame of mind, so as to positively change your
attitude. A smile has a direct impact on your hormones. When your frame of mind is positive, you’re more likely to perform better, be less nervous and get better results…and we all know that people gravitate towards top performers, right? (I’m talking about genuine people here, not the haters, okay?!?)

When it comes to body language, although it does have a direct impact on your physiology, remember that your state of mind is always important. If you prepare yourself mentally to interface with any audience, you can control your body language, which will lead to either a positive or a negative reception!

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.