Perception is reality. So how can you carry yourself with confidence to get ahead at work?
We spoke with body-language expert Lillian Glass, who has written 18 books on the subject, to hear some of her top tips.
From where to focus your eyes when you speak to using your hands more effectively in daily meetings, here are eight tips from Glass.
1. Don’t slouch
“The first thing you have to have is great posture,” says Glass. “You have to have a string holding your head up, and you have to put your shoulders back.”
Connect with your feet
“The person you’re talking to or communicating with, have your feet going in their direction,” she says. “It means you’re connecting with that person.”
Focus your eyes
“Look at a person’s face,” says Glass. “Don’t look them in the eyes. That’s too intimidating.”
Instead, she has this advice: “You need to look at the total face for one second. Eyes for one second. Nose for one second. Mouth for one second.”
“BE OPEN WITH YOUR GESTURES. DON’T BE RESERVED. USE YOUR HANDS. EXPRESS YOURSELF.”-Lillian Glass, body-language expert
Your hands matter
“You have to be great in terms of gesturing. Be open with your gestures. Don’t be reserved. Use your hands. Express yourself,” she says.
Glass says, “Don’t make any extraneous movements like rocking back and forth or standing on one leg. You have to stand with your two feet planted on the ground. Put your toes in the direction of that person.”
Speak from the abs
“In terms of your voice, speak from your abdominal area,” she says. “Don’t speak from your throat.”
Why? “Your abdominal area allows you to project your voice. Your throat closes it off and doesn’t give you the power and the gravitas you need for leadership.”
Speak with energy
“Use inflection and enthusiasm in your speech. Don’t be boring or monotone. Show life and motion when you communicate. React when appropriate,” says Glass. “Smile when things are pleasant, and be serious when you’re talking about something serious.”
She continues, “Open your jaw when you speak. Never touch your back teeth.”
This is because clenching your teeth when speaking will cause you to “sound nasal and muffled.”
Communicate in three parts
“And make sure that when you communicate, there’s beginning, a middle and an end to what you’re saying,” explains Glass. “Don’t have run-on sentences and run-on communication.”