Body language expert Tonya Reiman is a motivational and inspirational keynote speaker, consultant, and corporate trainer. She has shared her body language analysis and knowledge in communication with various Newspapers, Radio and various TV media such as Fox, CN8, Access Hollywood, EXTRA, and Fast Money. She is also the author of, The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter. We’re thrilled to have her share her insights today.
Fragrance, touch, and body language have been proven to be the most valuable when making a first impression. Here are some tips on how to be unforgettable in your professional world.
Beam with confidence
If you want to look like a powerful business woman you need to demonstrate confidence. You do this by taking up large amounts of space with your body, taking longer strides, and by keeping your neck elongated with your head slightly tilted upward when you enter a room.
You don’t have to be a 10 looks-wise to come off like a 10. When you’re confident and feeling your best, people actually perceive you as better looking. So stand up straight, smile and sneak in a little touch and fragrance for a winning result. Show you’re comfortable in your own skin, make eye contact, and dress in something that makes you feel good. You will radiate and be irresistible.
Be the center of attention
There’s no better way to catch anyones attention than being the life of the party. We’re often drawn to those who are at the center of it all. If you’re uncomfortable when you first walk into a room, wave to the wall. That gesture immediately makes others think you’re important and have a higher social status. If you’re already a social butterfly, surround yourself with people, place yourself in the center and engage in lively conversation. You’re sure to be noticed and approached.
Work on Posture
It’s a given that good posture communicates confidence and it’s the first thing you notice about a person, but did you know that it can actually make you feel better? Posture makes a significant difference in how you come across, as well as how you actually feel. When you stand straight, more oxygen is released to the brain, which in turn makes you feel healthier, livelier, and rids the body of toxins.
When standing, be sure to keep your feet slightly parted and occasionally put your hands on your hips to take up additional space. Stand tall, make sure hands are turned down. Hands turned up are a submissive sign.
When you sit, the goal is to also take up enough space to look powerful, but not too much that you appear arrogant. Always keep your hands above the table. Hands below the table can give the impression you are hiding something.
Talk without words
The average person takes in more signs than they realize, so if you’re looking to show someone you’re interested in what they are saying, lean in while you’re talking, point your feet toward the other person and nod while they speak to let them know you’re listening. Even the way you tilt of your head speaks volumes – a tilt to the right signals you’re trustworthy (perfect for a job interview), while the left makes you more attractive (try it on a date).
Get the job
Candidates are typically nervous during a job interview, but moms returning to the workplace may also be out of practice. Studies show that, quite often, the interviewer has made their decision within the first few moments of the interview. That indicates a great deal of the “interview” process is done via non-verbals.
Interviewers like candidates who are passionate about the job they are applying for, confident they can perform the duties, enthusiastic about coming back to work, and fascinating to talk to.
You can achieve this by researching the company as much as possible, conducting mock interviews with anyone who will participate, understanding the job requirements, and being comfortable in the role you have chosen.
In addition, it means realizing that the interview starts the moment you step out of your car in the parking lot or walk through the lobby door. It goes without saying you must be impeccably dressed, walk with purpose to the reception area and read through their journals while you wait to be called in.
If you suffer from anxiety and/or sweaty palms, the most important piece is to use the ladies room as your quick meditation arena. Go into the stall and take 10 deep open diaphragmatic breaths. This will help to relax you and send additional oxygen to the brain allowing you to think clearer and feel better.
When washing your hands, spend an extra minute running cold water on your wrists, this simple technique will keep your palms dry for roughly 10 minutes- long enough for that first significant handshake.
Walk into the room at a medium pace with strong posture and controlled gestures. If you are an event attendee, make sure you sit at the table, never in the second row of seating. Take up enough space to seem confident but not so much that you appear overbearing.
Take notes and hold eye contact with the speaker. If you are to be speaking, stand at a place where everyone can see your open body position. Make sure you do not show signs of nervousness such as fidgeting or touching your hair, face, neck etc.
If you need to have something in your hand something to keep calm, hold a pen and use it as a “pointer” while keeping your gestures at the midpoint and flowing naturally. Never point with your finger or make a fist as these hand gestures are seen as aggressive.
Handing over a presentation? Hold onto it for a split second longer. The person grabbing the document guard will go down when they can’t take away the document right away.
If you are asked a question which you are not comfortable with, the most important thing to do is stand your ground. As you answer the question, hold eye contact with the individual, slightly nod your head up and down. Subconsciously, they will mimic this movement and you are more likely to get agreement from someone who is nodding their head. Lean forward just a bit and smile when finished. You’ll know you have their attention if they are leaning in, holding eye contact and occasionally tilting and nodding their head.
Touch + scent = unforgettable
Leaving a lasting impression goes way beyond physical appearance; what matters is physical interaction and fragrance.
You can also garner attention and leave a lasting impression with touch and scent. Touch forms bonds, while scent triggers feelings and memories. Scents that are appropriate in business include notes of vanilla, musk, and amber; each is a natural scent and always leave a positive impression.
Find a way to incorporate a natural touch (think hand shake or hand on someone’s shoulder if wanting to portray power); that instant connection is electric and makes an indelible memory.
For your next business encounter, try to wear a fragrance that contains these notes and incorporate a natural touch, like giving a firm handshake. The handshake will communicate power, while the scent communicates positivity.
I recently teamed up with Caress to explore what makes you unforgettable and findings from a recent survey revealed men are impacted emotionally by a woman’s scent and are more likely to remember her fragrance than her name. That’s why I suggest incorporating touch and scent into your every day in order to make a lasting impression.
A smile is a gift; pay it forward
Smiling communicates confidence, makes you more attractive, shows you’re interested and lifts moods. Seeing a smile causes a chemical reaction that decreases stress and boosts feel good transmitters in the brain. It’s contagious and others can’t help but smile back, so you benefit from the same positive effects. Practice smiling at 10 people each day – you’ll be surprised to see that 90% will smile back at you.
These are just a few tips to help you tackle your professional endeavors confidently and powerfully.