Body Language Tips for Students
In today’s world and with the way communication has and is changing, it is indeed essential to acknowledge that language is not man’s only means of communication. People communicate differently and especially with their bodies. From simple hand gestures to facial expressions to even body language, people are able to let their feelings and emotions known. On some occasions, one can say that these are more important than verbal language. One researcher by the name of Albert Mehrabian even did a research on body language or nonverbal communication in the 60s. In his results, Mehrabian discovered that only 7% of man’s communication is verbal while 38% is preverbal and the remaining 55% is non-verbal. This simply means that it is essential that one understands which body language techniques to use to convey a message. It also affirms that by interpreting a person’s words, it is indeed difficult to understand or fully comprehend what a person intended.
The truth is that body language makes up what most of us use to communicate. That shrug of your shoulders or a roll of your eyes goes a long way in communicating or conveying a particular message. Compares to words, body language is indeed a more accurate basis for judging of meaning. Actions do indeed speak louder than words and unknowingly, you say much even when you do not open your mouth.
What is Body Language?
Body language is simply the use of gestures, facial expressions, and any other body signal or organ to communicate. One can also define it as a language without words or as many people refer to it, non-verbal communication. People use it all the time and the truth is it tells more or conveys a message more clearly than when people use words. People often think that they are aware of the signs and signals they give with their bodies. However, the truth is we give off more or communicate more with the unconscious signals we give than with the ones we often seem to be in control of.
Powerful Body Language Tips for College Students
It is indeed essential that people learn the right body language skills. For students especially, these skills will be of great help when one is employed or is trying to enter into the corporate world. Learning these skills is the first step to knowing how to communicate effectively. Additionally, it is also essential that you know which skills to use and at when to use them. Not all the skills can be used at all times. For example, while in a meeting, it is indeed essential that your body language exhume or show interest in what a person is trying to say. Your boss will indeed be furious with you if they are talking to you and your body language indicates or casts a figure of a disinterested person. Additionally, having the wrong body language can also be detrimental to your chances of landing that dream job. You may be tempted to think that learning body language is a waste of time. If you are the kind that believes your charm and bravado will earn you that dream job or internship, you need a change of heart because having the wrong body language will indeed hurt your chances. Body language skills may not be part of your syllabus but believe me, you need them as much as you need writing and speaking skills.
Therefore, you need to learn these skills now and here are some tips from our team:
- Avoid crossing your arms and legs. Everything you do often conveys a message and when you cross your arms and legs, there is indeed a message. When you cross your legs and arms you are often asking people to keep off or to find other people to talk to. In other words, you seem defensive and guarded and people unconcsioulsy register this as unwelcoming. Therefore, no one will talk to you.
- Ensure that you maintain eye contact. Eye contact is indeed important when you are conversing. When you look at your partner’s eyes, you are showing them that you are indeed interested in the conversation. Additionally, you need to nod as well and show that you in the conversation. However, you need not stare since it is considered rude. As you try and maintain eye contact, ensure that you avoid staring because it will come out as rude.
- Smile (this always works). Ensure that you smile during a conversation. Smiling however should not be with your mouth only but should also include your body. Fake smiles are always easily detected and as you can bear witness, people often approach the people who are smiling because they seem welcoming and ready for a conversation. Smiling makes you look comfortable and ready to converse.
- Avoid the temptation of pointing at people. Every day in your routine tasks, you will encounter a person engaged in a dialogue but still pointing a finger at their partner. While it is common knowledge that pointing fingers at people is rude and disrespectful, people still do it. Therefore, practice speaking or conversing with people without pointing fingers at them.
- Drooping shoulders and arms must also be avoided. Drooling your shoulders makes one look smaller and the message you will be sending here is that you are unsure of yourself. You need to make yourself big and noticeable because it is the only way people will respect you and see you relaxed and confident.
- Keep a comfortable distance with your conversation partner. While conversing, people often and unconsciously keep a distance. What many people do not know is that this distance is key to having a good conversation. If you are too close to your partner, you will make them feel uncomfortable especially if you are not close with them. Therefore, ensure that you keep a safe distance or a comfortable distance while having a conversation.
- Keeping your head down always sends the wrong message. Avoid it. Keeping your head down sends multiple messages to whoever you are conversing with. The first message it sends is that you are shy and reserved. This is a quick turn-off for people or a person who wanted to have a conversation with you. Additionally, it also shows that you are guilty or are feeling guilty. This is also another thing that will keep people away from you even though they are interested in conversing with you. However, you also need to be careful to avoid coming off as arrogant. Keeping your head high is indeed encouraged but you need to be careful to avoid sending th wrong message.
- Holding things closer to your heart always sends the wrong message.
- Practice or ensure you have a strong handshake. It is universally known that having a firm handshake is a sign of confidence. Therefore, whenever you are in a room, an interview, or anywhere your image matters, always use a firm handshake while exchanging pleasantries. People will not only respect you but will also expect much from you.
- Your dressing also matters. You start communicating from the time you pick or decide what you will wear to a meeting or interview. What most students fail to realize is that interviewers look at everything and will already have an idea of who you are and how you behave when they see how you dress. Always consider the meeting or place you are headed and choose your clothing well. Always ensure to keep your audience in mind before you walk out of the house. How you dress will also or can also make you feel confident about yourself. We feed off our energy and therefore, if you are not dressed well, you somehow send the message that you are not confident or self-assured.
- Avoid fidgeting. It always sends the wrong message. Fidgeting is wrong and sends several messages most of which are negative. Fidgeting especially while in an interview shows you are unprepared or at least this is the message you will be sending if you are fidgeting in an interview. Additionally, fidgeting also shows that you lack self-confidence. As a student, it is essential you start shaping yourself into the person you wish to be in the future. If you want to always come out as a confident young man or woman, you then need to stop fidgeting or you will be tossed out of the interview room long before it begins.
- Take deep breaths when you are nervous. Being nervous is indeed normal but the problem is always with how we react to the nervousness. When you are nervous, it will always show but you need not worry. Calming yourself is not a difficult thing and you only need to take deep breaths. Taking deep breaths is almost a cliché but it works and therefore, do not hesitate to take your time and take deep breaths even during an interview.
In conclusion, body language is indeed essential and you ought to learn how to communicate with your body. You will indeed be surprised to realize that you say more with your eyes, mouth, legs, arms, shoulders, etc. than your words. As your practice how to speak to people, ensure that you also practice the right body language techniques. These will indeed serve you in school as well as your life after school.