Body Language Don’ts
Be oblivious to your own body language
Many gestures, such as eye-rolling and arm-crossing, are reflexive in nature even though they have bad rep. “People continue to do them because they are unaware. A friend of mine tends to roll her eyes at everything – it’s just a habit but others may think she’s arrogant,” he shares. When rehearsing for a presentation or an interview, a good way to become more aware of your own body language is by recording yourself on tape, which also helps you pick up on subtle habits such as slouching (associated with insecurity), nodding too much (a sign of insincerity) and touching your face (indicating nervousness).
Smile too much
You can smile too much in a professional setting. “Generally, smiling shows you’re friendly and open,” he says. “But it can take away from your presentation when the topic is something serious, where grinning is not appropriate.” Make sure you smile at the right time instead. “You certainly shouldn’t be smiling when your boss is telling you, ‘The figures from last year are down again!” says De Brun.
While there are many complicated rules of body language, there’s only one golden rule when it comes to communication: be sincere. “Make sure what you say matches your body language,” says De Brun. “Being genuine will mean your sincerity will come across naturally through your body language.”
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