Nonverbal communication in business

Written by Lee Hopkins

There are five key elements that can make or break your attempt at successful nonverbal communication in business:

Eye contact Gestures Movement Posture, and Written communication

Let's examine each nonverbal element in turn to see how we can maximise your potential to communicate effectively...

Eye contact ~~~~~~~~~~~ Good eye contact helps your audience develop trust in you, thereby helping you and your message appear credible. Poor eye contact does exactlyrepparttar opposite.

So what IS 'good' eye contact?

People rely on visual clues to help them decide on whether to attend to a message or not. If they find that someone isn't 'looking' at them when they are being spoken to, they feel uneasy.

So it is a wise business communicator that makes a point of attempting to engage every member ofrepparttar 107970 audience by looking at them.

Now, this is of course easy ifrepparttar 107971 audience is just a handful of people, but in an auditorium it can be a much harder task. So balance your time between these three areas:

slowly scanningrepparttar 107972 entire audience,

focusing on particular areas of your audience (perhaps looking atrepparttar 107973 wall between two heads if you are still intimidated by public speaking), and

looking at individual members ofrepparttar 107974 audience for about five seconds per person.

Looking at individual members of a large group can be 'tricky' to get right at first.

Equally, it can be a fine balancing act if your audience comprises of just one or two members -- spend too much time looking them inrepparttar 107975 eyes and they will feel intimidated, stared at, 'hunted down'.

So here's a useful tip: break your eye-to-eye contact down to four or five second chunks.

That is, look atrepparttar 107976 other person in blocks that last four to five seconds, then look away. That way they won't feel intimidated.

Practice this timing yourself, away from others. Just look at a spot onrepparttar 107977 wall, count to five, then look away. With practice you will be able to develop a 'feel' for how long you have been looking into your audience member's eyes and intuitively know when to look away and focus on another person or object.

Gestures ~~~~~~~~ Most of us, when talking with our friends, use our hands and face to help us describe an event or object - powerful nonverbal aids.

We wave our arms about, turn our hands this way and that, roll our eyes, raise our eyebrows, and smile or frown.

Yet many of us also, when presenting to others in a more formal setting, 'clam up'.

Our audience of friends is no different from our business audience they all rely on our face and hands (and sometimes legs, feet and other parts of us!) to 'see'repparttar 107978 bigger, fuller picture.

It is totally understandable that our nervousness can cause us to 'freeze up', but is is in our and our communication's best interests if we manage that nervousness, manage our fear of public speaking, and use our body to help emphasise our point.

I found that by joining a local Toastmasters International club I was rapidly able to learn how to 'free up my body' when presenting to others.

Movement ~~~~~~~~ Ever watch great presenters in action men and women who are alone onrepparttar 107979 stage yet make us laugh, cry and be swept along by their words and enthusiasm?

Watch them carefully and you'll note that they don't stand rigidly in one spot. No, they bounce and run and stroll and glide all aroundrepparttar 107980 stage.

Why do they do that?

Because they know that we human beings, men in particular, are drawn to movement.

As part of man's genetic heritage we are programmed to pay attention to movement. We instantly notice it, whether we want to or not, assessingrepparttar 107981 movement for any hint of a threat to us.

This, of course, helps explain why many men are drawn torepparttar 107982 TV and seem transfixed by it. It also helps explain why men in particular are almost 'glued' torepparttar 107983 TV when there is any sport on. All that movement!

But to get back torepparttar 107984 stage and you on it... ensure that any movement you make is meaningful and not just nervous fidgetting, like rocking back and forth on your heels or moving two steps forward and back, or side to side.

This is 'nervous movement' and your nervousness will transmit itself to your audience, significantly dilutingrepparttar 107985 potency of your communication and message.

So move aboutrepparttar 107986 stage when you can not just to keeprepparttar 107987 men inrepparttar 107988 audience happy, but to help emphasise your message!

Posture ~~~~~~~ There are two kinds of 'posture' and it isrepparttar 107989 wise communicator that manages and utilizes both.

** Posture 1 The first type of 'posture' isrepparttar 107990 one we think of intuitively-the straight back versuesrepparttar 107991 slumped shoulders;repparttar 107992 feet-apart confident stance versesrepparttar 107993 feet together, hand- wringing ofrepparttar 107994 nervous;repparttar 107995 head up and smiling versusrepparttar 107996 head down and frowing.

Are You Sabotaging Your Career?

Written by Brent Filson

PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided torepparttar author, and it appears withrepparttar 107969 included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required: mail to:

Word count: 1949

Summary: Most leaders are sabotaging their careers because they are giving presentations and speeches rather than leadership talks. In terms of being a results-generator,repparttar 107970 leadership talk far surpassesrepparttar 107971 presentation or speech. Here are three questions you must ask and answer before you can give a leadership talk. If you answer "no" to any one ofrepparttar 107972 questions, you can't give one. ===================================================== ARE YOU SABOTAGING YOUR CAREER? by Brent Filson

My experience working with thousands of leaders world wide forrepparttar 107973 past two decades teaches me that most leaders are screwing up their careers.

On a daily basis, these leaders are gettingrepparttar 107974 wrong results orrepparttar 107975 right results inrepparttar 107976 wrong ways.

Interestingly, they themselves are choosing to fail. They're actively sabotaging their own careers.

Leaders commit this sabotage for a simple reason: They makerepparttar 107977 fatal mistake of choosing to communicate with presentations and speeches -- not leadership talks.

In terms of boosting one's career,repparttar 107978 difference betweenrepparttar 107979 two methods of leadership communication isrepparttar 107980 difference between lightning andrepparttar 107981 lightning bug.

Speeches/presentations primarily communicate information. Leadership talks, onrepparttar 107982 other hand, not only communicate information, they do more: They establish a deep, human emotional connection withrepparttar 107983 audience.

Why isrepparttar 107984 later connection necessary in leadership?

Look at it this way: Leaders do nothing more important than get results. There are generally two ways that leaders get results: They can order people to go from point A to point B; or they can have people WANT TO go from A to B.

Clearly, leaders who can instill "want to" in people, who motivate those people, are much more effective than leaders who can't or won't.

Andrepparttar 107985 best way to instill "want to" is not simply to relate to people as if they are information receptacles but to relate to them on a deep, human, emotional way.

And you do it with leadership talks.

Here are a few examples of leadership talks.

When Churchill said, "We will fight onrepparttar 107986 beaches ... " That was a leadership talk.

When Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you ... " that was a leadership talk.

When Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" That was a leadership talk.

You can come up with a lot of examples too. Go back to those moments whenrepparttar 107987 words of a leader inspired people to take ardent action, and you've probably put your finger on an authentic leadership talk.

Mind you, I'm not just talking about great leaders of history. I'm also talking aboutrepparttar 107988 leaders in your organizations. After all, leaders speak 15 to 20 times a day: everything from formal speeches to informal chats. When those interactions are leadership talks, not just speeches or presentations,repparttar 107989 effectiveness of those leaders is dramatically increased. How do we put together leadership talks? It's not easy. Mastering leadership talks takes a rigorous application of many specific processes. As Clement Atlee said of that great master of leadership talks, Winston Churchill, "Winston spentrepparttar 107990 best years of his life preparing his impromptu talks." Churchill, Kennedy, Reagan and others who were masters at giving leadership talks didn't actually call their communications "leadership talks", but they must have been conscious to some degree ofrepparttar 107991 processes one must employ in putting a leadership talk together.

Here's how to start. If you plan to give a leadership talk, there are three questions you should ask. If you answer "no" to any one of those questions, you can't give one. You may be able to give a speech or presentation, but certainly not a leadership talk.

(1) DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS? Winston Churchill said, "We must facerepparttar 107992 facts or they'll stab us inrepparttar 107993 back."

When you are trying to motivate people,repparttar 107994 real facts are THEIR facts, their reality.

Their reality is composed of their needs. In many cases, their needs have nothing to do with your needs.

Most leaders don't get this. They think that their own needs, their organization's needs, are reality. That's okay if you're into ordering. As an order leader, you only need work with your reality. You simply have to tell people to getrepparttar 107995 job done. You don't have to know where they're coming from. But if you want to motivate them, you must work within their reality, not yours.

I call it "playingrepparttar 107996 game inrepparttar 107997 people's home park". There is no other way to motivate them consistently. If you insist on playingrepparttar 107998 game in your park, you'll be disappointed inrepparttar 107999 motivational outcome. (2) CAN YOU BRING DEEP BELIEF TO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING? Nobody wants to follow a leader who doesn't believerepparttar 108000 job can get done. If you can't feel it, they won't do it.

But though you yourself must "want to" when it comes torepparttar 108001 challenge you face, your motivation isn'trepparttar 108002 point. It's simply a given. If you're not motivated, you shouldn't be leading.

Here'srepparttar 108003 point: Can you TRANSFER your motivation torepparttar 108004 people so they become as motivated as you are?

I call it THE MOTIVATIONAL TRANSFER, and it is one ofrepparttar 108005 least understood and most important leadership determinants of all.

There are three ways you can makerepparttar 108006 transfer happen.

* CONVEY INFORMATION. Often, this is enough to get people motivated. For instance, many people have quit smoking because of information onrepparttar 108007 harmful effects ofrepparttar 108008 habit

* MAKE SENSE. To be motivated, people must understandrepparttar 108009 rationality behind your challenge. Re: smoking: People have been motivated to quit becauserepparttar 108010 information makes sense.

* TRANSMIT EXPERIENCE. This entails havingrepparttar 108011 leader's experience becomerepparttar 108012 people's experience. This can berepparttar 108013 most effective method of all, for whenrepparttar 108014 speaker's experience becomesrepparttar 108015 audience's experience, a deep sharing of emotions and ideas, a communing, can take place.

There are plenty of presentation and speech courses devoted torepparttar 108016 first two methods, so I won't talk about those.

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