Body Language is Part of Our Personal ImageBy Angela Marshall, 2nd Feb 2012
As an image consultant I help people with their personal image, this includes their body langauge.
Body language is a way in which we show what we are thinking and feeling through conscious and subconscious gestures, bodily movements and facial expressions. We can say one thing but mean another and our body language will show this, as it is largely controlled by the subconscious.
Body Language is part of our personal image and we need to ensure we are giving out the right message. We need to appear confident, trustworthy and, in the right situation, powerful. We also need to recognise other people’s body language, so, we can adapt our body language in given situations e.g. if a person feels threatened we can put them at ease.
The meanings can vary from culture to culture, so when you travel abroad you need to understand the various cultures, study them and observe their various behaviours. This is a subject that cannot be covered fully in this session, but to give you some ideas of how to demonstrate a positive attitude you need to have: good facial expressions, good posture, eye contact, smile, good handshake, enthusiasm and show you are actively listening.
Learn to understand both yours and other people’s body language. Ask for feedback from friends or colleagues or review any videotapes of you making a presentation. You may see things you would never have believed or realised you did before.
It is amazing how much information we can give out to another person with our body language. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words. A clear indication of this is the new film “The Artist”, a silent black-and-white movie set in Hollywood during the age of flappers and fedoras, which has won a prize at the Globes and could well win more at the Oscars. Its leading actor, the Frenchman Jean Dujardin, won the award for best comedy actor at the Globes, without saying a word!