You don’t have to say a word!

When you want to get a message across sometimes you don’t have to say a word.  Body language makes up 55% of communication, 38% is your tone of voice and only 7% is words.

Think about the last time you prepared for a difficult conversation.  How much time did you spend on crafting just the right words to say and how much time did you spend thinking about how you wanted to deliver the conversation?  If you’re like me, I spent more time on the words – which I didn’t use anyway.

Here are some simple tips to come across with confidence.

Tip 1:  Start with a firm handshake.  It makes a strong and lasting impression.  A trick that I’ve learned:  When putting out your hand and gripping the other person’s hand, pull the other person’s hand in slightly toward you, that conveys a firm handshake and an easy way not to squeeze someone’s hand too tightly.

Tip 2:  Eye contact.  When you’re talking to someone, maintain eye contact at all times.  If you find that uncomfortable, look at the person’s forehead.

Tip 3:  Posture.  This is important whether you’re in a meeting, talking to someone in person or on the phone.  Sit up or stand up straight when speaking – your voice will project more confidence and you will look more confident.  If you’re sitting at your desk or in a meeting, lean forward slightly toward the speaker – this conveys focus.

Tip 4:  Distractions.   Put all distractions aside – even over the phone the listener can tell that you’re “multi tasking.”  Make it a rule that you are fully engaged, fully present and completely focused on whatever is going on and whoever is speaking.  This not only shows confidence, it’s also a great way to build relationships and respect among your co-workers.

Tip 5:  Image.  If you want to be taken seriously in the workplace you have to look the part.  This means to dress appropriately for your workplace, and conservatively.  Think about how you feel when you’re wearing something you know you look great in.  Looking your best, each and every day, speaks volumes to others.  It shows how you feel about yourself.  This simple tip goes a long way to building that confidence.  This applies whether you’re putting on a suit or putting on jeans to wear on casual days.  Remember that every day is an interview.  You never know who you might meet.

Sub-tip:  This is true every time you step out the door – even to run errands on the weekend.  You never know who else might be running errands too.

What non-verbal tips do you have to share?  What has worked for you?  Leave your comments below.

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