Communicate with confidence March 4, 2008Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Confidence, Uncategorized.
Want to influence others with your confidence in face to face meetings? When we meet others, we communicate mostly with non verbal signals commonly referred to as body language. Why is it that some people are more influential than others? The Big Dogs know the answer to that question. Here is how they do it.
Posture — keep the body straight. Powerful people stand and sit straight; it shows that you are in control of yourself and can be in control of whatever is going on around you. There is no need to be stiff, just hold your posture straight. Experiment with your posture by using a mirror to see how you come across.
Eye contact — during the meeting discussion and especially when you need a decision or are making a key point, make direct eye contact with the other person. During most of the conversation, you can be effective by making eye contact about 65-85% of the time. Making eye contact shows confidence and an ability to relate. Of course, this technique is useful in western cultures and should be avoided in cultures where direct eye contact is considered rude or aggressive.
Smile — a smile relaxes people more than a frown. People respond to a smile as friendly and welcoming. Frowns make people suspicious and uncomfortable. It takes fewer muscles to smile than frown, but a lot of people persist with a stern look when dealing with business scenarios. You can be serious and still smile. Go to the mirror and try it. Pick a key phrase and say it with a smile, then say the same phrase with a stern look. Even your tone will change. So smile; it is easier and more effective.
Make hand gestures — emphasize your points with hand gestures. Using both hands is even more effective. Complex gestures with your hands will get the listener to focus on you and will enhance their listening. If the other person uses hand gestures, remember them and use them later in the conversation. This action will create a connection between you and the other person. Be emphatic in your use of gestures, but do not overdo it. Gesturing and moving the hands too much is distracting. Experiment in the mirror to see what the right level of hand gesturing that is the key to making you confident.
Dress the part — be on the high end of the dress code for the environment. If you are in a business casual environment, do not be the sloppiest dresser in the group. In a casual environment, you may want to wear business slacks and a nice shirt or blouse without neck wear. Be careful not to over dress for the environment. Wearing a dark suit with a tie or scarf while everyone else is in jeans and a sweatshirt draws the wrong kind of attention to you. However, it is effective to dress at the high end like designer jeans and nice collared blouse or shirt. When you visit clients, try to find out ahead of time how they dress. A good rule of thumb for interacting with clients is to dress the way the client dresses. Again, you want to be at the high end of the dress code.
These tips are applied by the Big Dogs in making a solid impression that they are self confident and in charge. Experiment with them over the next 30 days and see if it doesn’t make a difference for you.