Skill Building: Body Language

Body Language

If you facilitate or present certain information to other people, then you might encounter sensitive issues, or topics which are more difficult to talk about. It is therefore very important that you have the right body language when talking about these topics.

Your posture includes how you hold your head, shoulders, legs, arms, and hips. Each of these parts of your body work separately as well as together to send non-verbal cues. Examples include tilting your head, slumping your shoulders, turning your hips sideways, and the like.

  • High poses – open, relaxed, confident, comfortable, captivating.

  • Low poses – closed, uncomfortable, uncertain

The tips below will help you with this:

  • Take an active listening pose by focusing on what the other person is saying, looking that person in the eyes and not being distracted by factors around you (such as your cell phone)

  • Don’t cross your arms over each other while talking, because this shows you are very defensive

  • Shake hands when someone new enters the room to introduce yourself and connect with that person

  • Have an open facial expression, for example by smiling

  • Use your hands when talking, this will support what you are saying and make the audience better understand.

  • Eye contact : Express feelings based on intensity and length of eye contact, and the like. Don’t lock your eyes to only couple of people, but try to make everyone feel like you’re talking to them.

  • Movement:– Your movement, whether using your entire body or just part of your body, is both flexible and commanding. For instance, moving toward another person may send a message of dominance or assertiveness, while moving away from another person may send a message of avoidance, submission, or simply bringing the interaction to a close.

Take action! Practice the different body languages described below in the mirror

  • Being defensive

  • Being open, relaxed

  • Being confident

  • Being bored

  • Being thoughtful

  • Being angry or frustrated

  • Being honest

  • Being positive or negative

  • Being impatient

  • Being interested

  • Being insecure