Your body language: say it without words

tccstFirst impressions are crucial to communicators, and we are all communicators.  Every day you see people, you greet people, and you meet people – at work, at school, and at social or business functions.  Before you even say a word, you transmit impressions, favorable or not, through nonverbal communication, the conscious and subconscious transmission and reception of unspoken messages.  Some features of nonverbal communication include:

Your walk:  Is it slow, fast, listless, jerky, confident or hesitant?  Do you march, saunter, strut, shuffle or stalk?

Your posture:  Are you straight as a drill sergeant?  Do you slump, shift from one leg to the other, droop or lean on the speaker stand?

Your facial expressions:  Do you smile, frown or smirk?  Do you look condescending, absorbed, disappointed or troubled?

Your eyes:  Are they expressive, twinkling, shifty, piercing, friendly, cold or penetrating?

Your dress:  Are you neat or sloppy?  Is your hair combed?  Are your colors coordinated or clashing?

Your cosmetics:  What an amount of aftershave lotion, cologne, perfume, hairspray or antiperspirant did you apply?  Too much or not enough?  Is your make-up caked on?  Do you look like someone from Mars?

Your gestures: What do you do with your hands, head and shoulders?  Are you constantly touching your face, ears, hair or jewelry?  Are your hands clasped in front or behind you?  Are they in your pockets?  Are your head and shoulders constantly moving or frozen immobile?

All the above mentioned characteristics transmit messages that can have an important effect on the success of your profession.

Ria Vorster
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