Freaky Friday!

In the last few posts I’ve touched upon the use of body language and perception. Basically, how your verbal message should match your physical mannerisms. What I didn’t get into was how to use your body (and voice) to convey the strongest and most compelling message possible to employers.

If you think about it, it’s not just about how you carry yourself but how you use all aspects of communication to present your ideas. With so many great online talks from TED to INCITE, it’s easier then ever to watch and study the best speakers to get ideas. Great presentations are really both an art and a science and despite what many people think, IT CAN BE LEARNED!

When you’re networking or in an interview, you are basically presenting yourself, so in that context think of the following:

  • The “story” you want to tell (goal)
  • What you want the audience to get out of it (aim)
  • Why they should care
  • Keep it short and to the point (the average listener can only focus for 15 minutes at a time)
  • Speak with passion!

For more info, check out Steven Knight’s 4 part Linkedin series:

How to produce and deliver a winning presentation

Present with power: voice and body language

Why passion and facial expression matter

Your voice is the key to your success

If you really want to delve into improving your presentation skills, here are two books I would recommend on the subject:

Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

How to deliver a great TED talk by Akash Karia

Happy Friday!

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How to be a body language superhero!

So now that you know about some of the negative things that could be coming across to potential employers through your body language, how can you change it?

Try Power Posing.

Ever since Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy’s TED talk in 2012 on power posing and confidence, this seemingly small move has become a huge sensation. Basically the pose, which consists of placing your hands on your hips and your feet apart (think Superman or Wonder Woman), when held for around 2 minutes has been scientifically proven to build confidence. Subsequently, Amy’s famous quote of “fake it’ til you become it” has quickly become a part of our modern vernacular. Check out the full talk and see for yourself:

 How Power Posing can work to boost your confidence

Now that you’ve tried power posing repeat the suggestion in the last post to either record yourself or have a friend watch you while answering common interview questions. Notice the difference? You may now be using the following positive gestures while speaking without even realizing that you’re doing it!

Action: Brisk erect walk

Meaning: Confidence

 

Action: Standing with hands on hips

Meaning: Readiness

 

Action: Open palm

Meaning: Sincerity, Openness

 

Action: Steepling fingers

Meaning: Authoritative

 

Action: Quickly tilted head

Meaning: Interest

 

Action: Stroking chin

Meaning: Thinking about a decision

 

Action: Consistent eye contact

Meaning: Confidence, honesty

 

Now there will be no mistaking your message to employers as your confidence will match your words.

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Opps did I just say that! “What your body language is telling employers”

Did you know that 50-70% of language is unspoken?  Our bodies reflect our true state of mind and during interviews and cold-calling it’s probably like a blinking red light that says…VERY NERVOUS! It’s often because of our nerves, that we have no idea our physical “message” is running counter to what we’re actually saying. For example, you may be talking about your capable leadership skills while not being able to look the interviewer in the eye. Your words and your body language need to match despite your inner turmoil! 

To help keep your confidence up, keep this in mind:

  1. You wouldn’t have been asked for an interview if you didn’t already have the skills and abilities the employer is looking for.
  2. When cold-calling the very fact you came in-person is hugely impressive for employers
  3. SMILE! and show sincere warmth, since most employers get a distinct impression of you within the first few seconds this can offset nervousness and immediately make a good impression.
  4. Most employers want to hire you! They don’t want to waste time in the interview process so the quicker they can make a decision the better.

Now what is your body language really saying?

 

Action: Hands in pockets

Meaning: Dejection

 

Action: Touching your neck

Meaning: Insecurity

 

Action: Touching or rubbing nose

Meaning: Rejection, doubt or lying

 

Action: Rubbing eye

Meaning: Doubt or disbelief

 

Action: Hands clasped behind back

Meaning: Anger, apprehension

 

Action: Locked ankles

Meaning Apprehension

 

Action: Rubbing hands

Meaning: Anticipation        

 

Action: Patting / Fondling hair

Meaning: Lack of self-confidence

 

Action: Looking down face turned away

Meaning: Lack of confidence and disbelief

 

Action: Biting nails

Meaning: Insecurity, nervousness

 

Action: Pulling or tugging at ear

Meaning: Indecision

 

If you’re not sure whether you’re doing these things try recording yourself or have a friend watch you while answering interview questions. Remember everyone feels some insecurity at some point it’s just a matter of how you project those feelings.

Stay tuned for the next post on how to become a body language superhero!

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