It's late night and early tomorrow morning you have a very important presentation to deliver to the senior leadership team in your company. You are anxious and self-doubt is running high. How do you prepare with the little time that remains? You are already have a great story line and a compelling ask but what will seal the deal? It's credibility.
What many leaders don't realize is that the receivers of your presentation often evaluate credibility in just seconds based on your body language. Body language is defined as the management of time, space, appearance, posture, gesture, vocal prosody, touch, smell, facial expression, and eye contact. Anytime body language is out of alignment, people tend to remember what they saw and not what was said.
Amy Cuddy, TEDGlobal Speaker in 2012, addresses how body language can change who you are as a person. This may sound like a stretch but research has shown that doing power posing for two minutes before a stressful event such as an important presentation can significantly impact how you feel about yourself and your performance in the presentation. Although one might be “faking it” at the beginning, a tiny tweak in body language can reshape many outcomes in your life.
Cuddy experienced this firsthand when she began giving talks at Princeton University. Her first talk was 20 minutes to 20 people. She immediately called her advisor the night before in a panic wanting to quit. Her advisor responded that she needed to fake it until you eventually become it. After much practice and experience delivering speeches, she eventually became a powerful speaker that many professionals admire.
- Before an important meeting, breathe through your mouth.
- When making a formal presentation, move then pause.
- To look decisive, rotate your palms down.
- If you want to be taken seriously, speak up early.
- To know when people want to leave, watch for seated readiness.
- To sharpen your negotiating skills, notice how fast you can make or break rapport.
- When you want your team to collaborate, start marching.
- To sound dynamic, widen your stance.
- To stay in control, back up.
- To increase team productivity, keep your body language open.
Through practicing these tips, leaders find they are better equipped to engage and influence their colleagues. Want to learn more? Contact Us