A successful communication depends on your message being interpreted as reliable and suitable by the person(s) on the receiving end.
Many studies have revealed that body language is the most important part of any face-to-face
conversation, carrying about 80% of the whole communication. The non-verbal messages include eye contact, body position, gestures, the facial expression, the tone and pitch of the voice. If someone tells you ‘Yes, I love it!’, but with a frown on his face, what do you believe: his words or his body language?
The main question you should ask yourself is: is your body really expressing what you want it to?
Non-verbal Signs of Listening
A good communication begins with listening. When you listen to someone talking, you can communicate as much as if you were doing the speaking. Showing an interest gives feedback to the speaker and encourages him/her to carry on. In plus, this brings out the best in them and keeps them on your side. It’s a great start.
Here are some effective ways to show that you are interested in the conversation and actively listening
Keep eye contact
While you listen, look the speaker directly in the eyes. This makes you come across as more engaged and friendly. People like when you absorb what they are saying. At the same time, it provides you with plenty of non-verbal information about what the speaker is thinking and feeling.
Node and smile
By nodding and smiling, you agree with what is being said and show you are in tune with the person
who is speaking. Keep a pleasant and encouraging expression while the other is speaking.
Never interrupt people
Always allow people to finish what they have to say. This will show that you appreciate what is being
communicated and you don’t listen only to reply or make your own point. People perceive interruption as a lack of respect for themselves and for their ideas.
Pay full attention
Let go of any gesture that might create a distraction, such as playing with keys or pencils or clock watching. Focus completely on the speaker.
Tilt your head to one side
This is a little but very powerful trick when it’s about listening. By adopting a relaxed position, with the head slightly tilted to one side, people get the impression that you are fully absorbed into their
speaking. This has a strong impact on the speakers and get them instantly on your side.
Keep an open body position
You should keep your body open – no crossed legs or folded arms. Your hands should be open too. Lean towards the speaker slightly – this will create a subtle connection between you and the person in front of you.
Let the Body Language Carry Your Talking
Now it’s your turn to speak.
Is your body perfectly in tune with the message your words are delivering?
When you talk, you must give your listener the impression that you are sincere, confident and reliable. You do this by showing a coherence between how you present yourself verbally and visually. No matter how great your message, if the body language doesn’t support it, it won’t be believed and trusted.
Because actions speak louder than words😊.
Here are few simple but effective body language tips to help you become more credible and confident and therefore have a great feedback.
Make direct eye contact
Looking somebody in the eyes shows that you respect the person in front of you and consider him/her to be important. This flatters your listener and prevents him or her from wandering. But most of all, you create your own credibility and reliability.
A genuine smile can do a lot
Smiling makes people see you as approachable. But make sure the smile is not fake – your eyes should also reflect your smile. This feeling is instantly communicated. A sincere smile can change the chemistry of the brain and make both you and your listener feel better. Moreover, when you smile, the muscles around your vocal chords are lifted, and your voice will instantly sound warm and friendly.
Use open-handed gestures
By moving your hands, you involve your listeners and bring them closer to an understanding of what you are trying to express. When you talk, keep your palms exposed, open at a 45-degree angle. This gives a positive emphasis, showing your openness, honesty and full commitment to what you are saying.
Leaning forward slightly
When you want to build intimacy, just lean slightly towards your listener. Leaning forward is the most powerful non-verbal message that creates a bridge between two people. It’s the most direct way of saying: “I like and I trust you”. The feedback comes right away.
Lower the tone
If used properly, the voice can be a strong medium for supporting your message and gaining people’s attention. A lower voice has gravity and usually is taken more seriously. A strident voice gives the impression of overreaction and anxiety. Even the highest pitch has a range from lower to higher, so anyone can exercise the lowest level until it becomes natural.
Use a medium tempo
A medium, well-measured speech tempo enables people to take in the message and also creates
confidence. Keep the natural breathing space, so the people can absorb what you are saying.
Emphasize the important words
Place emphasis on the important words of your message. If you don’t use inflection to put value on
certain parts of your speech, people cannot be sure which are the important bits.
These tips will help you better control your body language during social interaction, and enable you to get your message over more effectively. At the same time, you will be able to interpret non-verbal
signals coming from other people.