Body Language Skills

Power Body Language

What is it that makes a person popular?

Why is it that they always seem to get the job?

Why are some people always sought after?

Popular People

She walks into a room and five people run up to greet her.

She’s not as qualified as you, but she gets the job.

She’s not that smart or attractive, but she always seems to be sought after for business lectures.

How does she do it?

She has charm.

She Attracts People

She has the ability to draw people to her.

She has an attitude about herself, about others and about the world.

People like to be around her because she makes them feel good.

With her positive outlook, helping nature, friendliness, energy and caring for others, she is a winner.

Body Language

Body language includes movements of a part of the body, such as a nod of the head or a raising of the eyebrows and movement of the entire body, such as overall body tension or jumping up and down.

It is not always easy to precept different meanings of body language because this involves interpretation.


If someone came into our office and was frowning you might interpret that they are in a bad mood, but the look could be totally unintentional.

The study of body motion, kinesics, involves the study of body movements in communication.

It is estimated that the verbal part of a conversation carries less than 35% of the social meaning of the conversation.

Sixty-five per cent is carried by nonverbal messages.

Understanding Non-Verbal Communication

This is what makes understanding nonverbal communication so important.

Body movements and positions can be considered either reflexive (involuntary) or non-reflexive (voluntary. One reflexive motion is pupil dilation.

Dr Edward H. Hess explained to a kinesics convention that clinical studies have shown that the pupil unconsciously widens when the eye sees something pleasant, exciting or arousing.

Non-reflexive body language can be much more difficult to interpret.

Guidelines For Body Language

Body language differs amongst cultures.

In England, if you cross your fingers, you are saying, OK but in the United States, you are saying good luck.

A good example of trying to fake a gesture and how it is not effective is:

Look at a picture of yourself when you were genuinely smiling and compare it to when you had to pose for one.

Self Belief

The reason that we tend to believe outstanding political leaders, brilliant actors, top trial lawyers and super salespeople is because of the fact that they believe in themselves.

This comes through in their non-verbal communication.

Constricted pupils, pulling away, lack of eye contact - negative signals.

Understand Your Signals

  • Become aware of the way you speak and gesture. Exhibit good posture.
  • Become aware of your mannerisms and nervous habits.
  • Become aware of your handshake.
  • Become aware of your eye contact.
  • Become aware of how you communicate.
  • Be natural . . . behave from the soul.

Body Language Guidelines

The fewer hand and body gestures you make the more powerful and intelligent you appear to be.

People who speak in a lower tone and those who speak slowly are perceived as being more powerful and believable.

Leaders and powerful people take up more space than others do. They tend to lean slightly forward with their arms and legs relaxed and slightly spread. By taking up more space they appear to take charge.

The person whose eye level is highest is usually perceived as the leader. People turn to address that person first.

Smiling makes you seem friendly and more attractive.

Practice These Guidelines and They Will Become Habit . . .

Dr Joyce M. Knudsen

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