It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it: 3 tips for better body language in business

In the business world, success is dependent on the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. As professionals, we often spend ample amounts of time rehearsing exactly what we plan to say verbatim in our presentations to other business leaders or when delivering a sales pitch to ensure our confidence is felt through our voice, but it takes more than practice to leave an impression.

As Dale Carnegie often said, it is not just what you say, it is how you say it. Keeping this principle in mind, here are some tips that Madison business professionals can utilize to ensure that their nonverbal communication is as sharp as their presentation or pitch.

Maintain eye contact

It probably doesn’t come as a shock to you that the number one way to build trust and convey confidence in interpersonal communication is through eye contact. Eye contact is one of the easiest forms of nonverbal communication to master in the business world. By making eye contact with the person you’re networking with or the audience you’re presenting to, you validate your interest in the conversation or topic and demonstrate your ability to be trusted as a professional.

Firmly shake hands with confidence

A handshake is often is the first impression that someone will have of you, so it’s important to make it count. Handshakes shakes should be firm, yet not gripping. It’s important that your grip does not overpower the other person’s. When shaking hands, engage direct eye contact, flash a genuine smile, and offer a warm greeting using your name.

Align your body appropriately

In addition to putting your mother’s constant advice of maintaining good posture to use, it’s important to tailor the positioning of your body to the situation. When presenting, stand tall with relaxed shoulders. If you’re having a one-on-one conversation or meeting, align your body with the person you’re speaking to, showing your interest, engagement, and willingness to listen to what they have to say. Keep your arms and legs uncrossed to show openness and when appropriate, occasionally nod to show your continued interest in their verbal communications.

By being mindful and aware of your body language and nonverbal communication cues in a business setting and in your personal life, you’re destined to make a stronger first impression and earn the attention and interest of those around you as you pursue your business and career endeavors.

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