Say you have to make a presentation in front of a large audience. Of course, you have already given several presentations in public but still, you’re stressed, you sweat a lot, and your heart pounds. You walk towards the microphone, all eyes are on you, and everyone expects your presentation. You haven’t said a word; however with just your presence, you have already given important information about yourself. It only takes a few seconds for your audience to have a first impression on who you are. This first impression is made on a combination of: your attitude, your posture, your facial expressions, the way you’re dressed and lots more. All these ingredients contribute to give an idea of who you are. These components also named body language are a part of the non-verbal communication.
- Why is Image so important?
- How do you control the image we project to others?
- Can body language increase our confidence or reduce our stress?
Your image is a form of language and your body is a communication tool, people you speak to will only see and remember what you show them. In other words, the most important component of your communication, it is not what you say, but YOU. Albert Mehrabian, a Professor of psychology at the University of California demonstrated in his studies that our verbal communication represents only 7% of our global communication. This probably explains the reason why we pay so much attention to appearances.
Indeed, we are very judgmental about others and very often lack awareness of our own self-image. This is mainly due to the fear of getting to know our true nature and eventually having to work on our own self-image. This can be painful, so we prefer to keep an ideal image of ourselves. The control of your image begins with the analysis of how you are perceived. Getting to know the image we project to others is essential, equally in our professional and personal environment. 360 ° REACH is an online tool that will give you a thorough insight of the way others perceive you. www.reachcc.com
Likewise, Amy Cuddy, an Associate Professor in Social Psychology at Harvard Business School, used experimental methods to investigate how people judge and influence each other and themselves. Her researches on body language revealed that we can change other people’s perceptions and even our own body chemistry simply by changing body positions. Namely, by adopting a more power pose we can increase our confidence and reduce our level of stress. Boost Power Through Body Language.
Now ignoring the importance of our non-verbal communication can compromise our personal & professional relations. Obviously it is unrealistic to want to control every aspects of our communication, nevertheless being aware of the impression you project on others is the first step to better communication.
So, try a different attitude for a day – try a warm smile for instance– you will notice immediate changes in the way other people feel about you.