Jarod Kintz had once written that “I am bilingual. I speak English and Body.” This statement stresses how important body language is to the image we project of ourselves, and the image we perceive of people around us. Body language helps us generate and transmit messages to observers through our posture, gestures, and body movements.
Inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal communication often confuses people, as they tend to put more emphasis on body language as compared to speech. If a person smiles while saying he is sad, his words will lose their value and the observer will take that statement as a lie.
The most important factors that sum up Body Language are −
- Eye Contact − Steady eye contact (not continuous as in staring) indicates a sense of confidence and a willingness to connect with the discussion, as opposed to shying eyes and drooping eyes that give an impression of either under-preparedness, low confidence, or disinterest.
- Facial Expression − A person can very easily give away his thoughts if one were to study his face. People who are genuinely happy tend to arch their eyebrows, as compared to those who smile only out of courtesy. These small hints can give many details and unspoken messages about people.
- Posture − It is recommended that you always maintain a proper, straight, and crisp posture while standing or while sitting down. Slouchy posture is often associated with arrogance, sloth, and unproductivity. On the other hand, a person sitting straight in his chair will exude confidence and inspire respect.
- Specific Gestures − Nodding is universally accepted as a signal for ‘Yes’, and five extended fingers denote the number ‘five’. These are certain specific movements that you need to be careful of while speaking, so that there is no discrepancy in gesture and speech.
- Physical Proximity − The way we shake hands and pat on the shoulders of other people give us either a friendly or amiable image. Standing too close or too far from a speaker could give a sense of intrusion or arrogance.