Read this awesome post by FIF member Lizzy about the importance of body language and eye contact.
Hey FIFers! [Anyone use that term? It just came to me :} ]
A week ago, I attended a presentation at my college and I wanted to share what I learned because I think it’s really valuable. It was called The Science of Leadership and was led by a woman named Danielle M Baker. She talked about body language and how to appear confident. Here are some interesting stats:
● In 30 minutes two people can send over 800 nonverbal signals
● Body language is 12-13x more powerful than accompanying words
She went over five key points. I will summarize each of them [watch the video below for further explanation and examples]:
1- Capture the First Spark – Power of First Impressions
Your first impressions happens the moment someone sees you.
She asked us two questions: How do you think you come across? How do you want to come across?
I think I come across shy and I want to come across confident.
2- Building Trust
She asked us what part of the body we notice first. Face, eyes, and mouth were the most common responses.
The reality: People first notice hands. There was a study done here people wore a device to an event and without realizing it, they looked at people’s hands first. This goes back to the cavemen days where if one cavemen saw another from afar, he would look at his hands to make sure he wasn’t holding any weapons. Of course we don’t use this tactic today, at least not in most circumstances but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.
If you go into an interview, here are some tips on how to appear trustworthy:
-Keep your hands visible and expressive- above the desk, out of pockets!
-Be explanatory with your hands- Many people use hand gestures when explaining things [although it’s not required]. This also keeps you from fidgeting.
● A good handshake is worth 3 hours of face-to-face time
● On average people hold eye contact for 65% of a conversation
[See video below for more info]
3- Decoding Hidden Emotions
Microexpressions: A very brief or involuntary facial expression made during an intense emotional feeling.
There are 7 universal microexpressions. Some include fear, surprise, and disgust.
This brings me to the topic of ‘Resting Face’. I have what I call “Resting I’m Not Okay Face”. The question I am asked most often is “Are you okay?” because I guess my relaxed facial expression makes me look sad or stressed. This is why I will always wear a smile while on set! I want to look like I am having fun and am in a good mood, even if I’m not ; )
Facial expressions provide more authentic and effective interactions.
Facial Feedback Hypothesis: In just 3/100th of a second, our facial muscles imitate what they see. This is why during scary movies if a character is widening their eyes, you widen your eyes too!
Random fact about happiness: 1 in 10 people can actively engage their crows feet.
4- Being a Winner
People are always looking for winners. It’s like Janet says, work begets work and good vibes attract the people you want to meet!
[See video below for more info]
5- Speak Confidently
Use your lowest natural range of voice. Also use vocal variance- varied pace, cadence and tempo. That way you won’t sound like a monotone robot.
AVOID THE QUESTION INFLECTION. This is important. If someone asks your name, or what you do, don’t ask another question in response, “I’m Lizzy? I PA?” NO! This does not come across confident. Say, don’t ask.
Emotionality- Put emotional emphasis on your words
In conclusion, use your powers for good, not evil.
I hope this information was helpful! :] If you want to learn more, there are some good articles on scienceofpeople.com
P.S. I didn’t go over power posing but that helps build confidence too! My go-to power pose is to place my hands on my hips. 💯