Recall a time when you met someone new at work. Or think about the last time you watched a speaker deliver a presentation. What were your first impressions? Did you sense confidence or a lack of confidence in them? Did you want to associate with them or not? Were you convinced by them? Did they stride into the room, engage you and maintain eye contact or were they tentative, shuffling towards you with eyes averted, before sliding into a chair? What about their handshake – firm and strong or weak and limp? Moving along in the conversation, did they maintain solid eye contact or were they frequently looking away? Did their face appear relaxed or was it tight and tense? What about their hand and arm movements? Were their gestures wide, flowing and open or were they tight, jerky and closed? As you observe others, you can identify some common signs and signals that give away whether they are feeling confident or not. Typical things to look for in confident people include: •Posture – standing tall with shoulders back.
•Eye contact – solid with a "smiling" face.
•Gestures with hands and arms – purposeful and deliberate. •Speech – slow and clear.
•Tone of voice – moderate to low.
As well as deciphering other people's the body language, you can use this knowledge to convey feelings that you're not actually experiencing. For example, if you are about to enter into a situation where you are not as confident as you'd like to be, such as giving a big presentation or attending an important meeting, you can adopt these "confidence" signs and signals to project confidence. Let's now look at another scenario
Body language impacts a great deal of how we communicate, and can reflect quite accurately what's going on inside us. Body language includes body movements and gestures (legs, arms, hands, head and torso), posture, muscle tension, eye contact, skin coloring (flushed red), even people's breathing rate and perspiration. Additionally, the tone of voice, the rate of speech and the pitch of the voice all add to the words that are being used. It is important to recognize that body language may vary between individuals, and between different cultures and nationalities. It is therefore essential to verify and confirm the signals that you are reading, by questioning the individual and getting to know the person.