By Christine Dion of Mode Dion.
Studies show people form an opinion of one another within 6 to 10 seconds upon meeting. This sure doesn’t allow a lot of time to dazzle someone with your sparkling personality! However, it is actually your body language and how you look that determines how others first respond to you. Having open, warm and confident body language will help you make the best impression possible in the shortest amount of time.
Understanding body language can be a very important tool when interviewing, auditioning or meeting new people. Here are some great tips to help you communicate the right body language and read others responses to you.
Posture plays a powerful role. Be sure to lift your chin up and pull your head back so your ears align with your shoulders. Roll shoulders back a bit to help lift your chest, which will help align your lower body as well. Push hips slightly forward when you stand and walk to keep you straight.
Hand positions and placement can help tell how a person is feeling, thinking and even how truthful they are.
- Avoid crossing the arms or holding one arm or wrist with the other hand crossing over the body. These gestures shut out the person you’re talking to as well as show signs of needing to hold back or feeling uncomfortable. When standing keep your hands at your sides to use for minor expressing which can demonstrate enthusiasm.
- Hands behind the back are best left to the Royals (a commanding body language). This position can sometimes show signs of hiding something or holding back.
- Hands on the hip can convey confidence and readiness while hands in the pockets show signs of disinterest and boredom.
- Playing with or running hands through hair can be flirty, but also a signal of exasperation with another.
- Touching your nose while speaking can mean lying or exaggeration. Be careful in the Spring where nose touching can also mean allergies.
- While listening to someone a rubbing of the nose can mean holding back a comment and pinching the nose bridge can be a negative response to what’s being said.
- An index finger at the temples while listening can mean the person listening is feeling critical. An index finger placed on the chin can show consideration for what another is saying.
- Supporting the chin or placing ones face into the hand while listening shows boredom.
- Scratching the throat conveys doubt or disbelief and ear tugging can show a feeling of indecision.
Your smile brings the world to you. Walk down the street with a smile and you’ll notice that everyone walking by will smile back at you or say hello. Smiles truly are contagious! It actually takes 19 muscles to smile and 42 to frown! So relax by turning that frown upside down. It has been proven that one can truly change a bad mood just by smiling. When speaking on the phone the person on the other end can actually hear a smile in your voice come through. Smiles help build trust and rapport with others.
How you smile and greet people says a lot about you.
- A smile is always best when the eyes show it. A crinkle at the eyes is natural. Smile wrinkles are actually attractive and show others you are a happy person. A genuine smile comes from being happy and from drawing your feelings from the heart. There should be a twinkle in the eyes. You don’t want to smile and have your eyes not mean it.
- Look at photos of yourself smiling, with a closed mouth, open mouth and from different angles. Which smiles and poses make your face light up the most? Which smile displays your other features to their best possible advantage? Which smile comes across as the most natural, the most “you”? Then practice in the mirror. Practice smiling? Yes! It’s the only way to see yourself as the world sees you.
- It can help when smiling for the camera or upon meeting someone if you look down then look up into the camera or the eyes of the person your meeting. This helps avoid looking frozen or stiff and increases the energy and warmth in the eyes.
- In pictures beware of holding your chin too high (nostrils) or too low (double chin/shadows around eyes). Most people look better smiling with the face turned slightly to the side at an angle to extenuate the jawline.
- When showing teeth, pressing the tongue behind the teeth will make small gaps look less noticeable.
- Keep your teeth white by brushing with whitening toothpaste or baking soda and in top condition with regular visits to the dentist.
- Check teeth for food or lipstick so your smile can sparkle with confidence.
Photo (top): © Stakhov Yuriy | Dreamstime.com