Communicate Now!

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Use Body Language to Enhance your Communication Skills

We all communicate with one another through how we look as well as what we say and how we sound. In fact what our bodies are doing whilst we are talking (ie our body language) can often play a much greater part in our communication than we might think.

In a recent survey by CNN, over 85% of those surveyed thought that body language was either a very important or absolutely crucial factor to bare in mind when doing business.

Use your body language well and it can really enhance your message and demonstrate that you've got effective communication skills. But use it badly and it can have the opposite effect.

So, how you shake your client's hand and whether or not you make appropriate eye contact is what could swing the deal. And it is so easy to get it wrong.

Click here to read CNNs article on body language and business travelling.

Your communication with others through your body language can help to convey what you're thinking and feeling to your audience. But it can also be a two edged sword - as we can also send signals out to people about how we're feeling that we don't want them to know! So improve your body language skills and try and be more concious about the communication that your body might be having with the people around you.

So what can we do to be more aware of the signals we are sending out?
And better still what can we do to to send out the appropriate signals from our bodies when we need to?

Here are some ideas for you to improve your communications skills.

Eye contact - to improve communication skills

  Eye contact helps create better interaction and rapport with your listeners.
  Aim for 3 seconds per person when speaking to a group of people.
  Sharing your eye contact around the group helps to free up your head and neck movements.
  Avoid staring – especially when speaking on a 1-2-1 basis
  Always try to look at your listener at the end of a sentence to reinforce the message in that sentence.

Gesture - to improve communication

  Gestures can help give your voice extra energy and confidence
  Try to gesture on some key words – this gives the words greater emphasis
  Be aware of an denial gestures you may use – (eg touching the face, rubbing the nose, scratching the head, gripping an arm with the other hand or fiddling with clothes, hair or pens)

Presence - to enhance communication

  Adopt your ‘Anchor Position’ when you want to keep your body language calm and controlled.
  When sitting, keep the small of the back into the back of the chair. This will help support your posture and maintain energy and a confident style.
  Aim to keep your body language open and relaxed at all times. Your physical attitude can affect your psychological attitude.

Movement and Space - to enhance your communication skills

  Be sensitive to other people’s space and try not to intrude into it.
  To achieve rapport when speaking to others try to match levels – eg either both sitting or standing with the body angled in towards the other person

Watch this space for more body language & communication skills help appearing soon.

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