We all know from personal experience that first impressions can be lasting, in life and in business. In a mere five seconds an impression is made. It seems like such a short time - what is the impression based on? You may be surprised to know that 55% of the message your body sends is attributed to the way you look. 38% of the message is from the way you speak – grammar, tone, confidence and body language. Shockingly, only 7% of the message you send is based on the actual content of your words. What message are you sending?
Your personal deportment carries a lot of weight in the impression you make on others. Personal deportment refers to one’s manner of personal conduct, the way one behaves, especially one’s physical bearing. Below are a few easy things you can do to immediately send confident signals.
Good posture means exactly what many of us were told growing up, stand up straight and proud. When you slouch you are telling the world that you are self-conscious and don’t want to be seen, you are weary and probably a bit dreary. We all know we should remember to stand straight, but it is becoming more of a challenge as we spend hours sitting behind a desk or hunched over our electronic devices.
Making eye contact when speaking is one of the simplest things you can do to instantly project confidence and trustworthiness. Eye contact tells the other person you are listening. It helps make you a better listener because it focuses you in on the other person and you pay attention to what they are saying. When you focus on the other person you make them feel important while you look in control. But don't engage in a staring contest - that makes everyone uncomfortable. In the US, it is customary to maintain eye contact between 40 - 60% of the time you are conversing.
You should remember to smile. A smiling face shows kindness and confidence – a winning combination. Stand up tall, maintain eye contact, and smile. The world will smile back.
Have a marvelous week - Catherine