Must read- Decoding Body Language Messages of Self Made Billionaire Entrepreneurs.
With his arms crossed and his confident stance, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk (pictured here in front of one of his company’s creations) is in a classic power pose. You may not have Musk’s fame and fortune, but you should still adopt his powerful posture. “It’s… possible that when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful,” Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist who researches body language, said during a TED talk. Practice this for a few minutes alone right before your next high-stress situation for a boost in confidence.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is pictured here talking to a journalist right after making a new product announcement. Imitating another’s body language while having a conversation, as Zuckerberg is doing here, usually demonstrates that you are in agreement with him or her. Also, though it sounds strange, it can help you to understand what someone else is thinking, Inc. columnist Jeff Haden writes. “In short: mimic my expressions and you’ll better understand how I feel–which means you can better help me work through those feelings,” Haden says.
Stay Open to New Information
The late Steve Jobs is best remembered for a more iconic pose. But here’s a less-circulated photo of Jobs speaking with attendees at Apple’s annual World Wide Developer conference just after announcing the redesigned iPhone 4. Jobs demonstrates that when listening to others, your arms should be at your side–not crossed. This shows that you’re open to what is being said.
During a conversation, make eye contact. It demonstrates that you’re genuinely interested in the discussion. Just be sure not to lock eyes for too long, as this could be interpreted as creepy or aggressive–or both. Additionally, remember to smile. As Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban demonstrates here, smiling is contagious. It not only helps to reduce your stress in the moment, but will put everyone else at ease, too.
Uncrossing your legs is an easy way to set a relaxed tone. Here Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, a medical laboratory services company, appears perfectly at home on stage. Additionally, uncrossing your legs, just like uncrossing your arms, makes you appear more attentive.
You don’t need to be Italian to be able to communicate with your hands. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and other engaging speakers have mastered the art. When done in a non-distracting way–in other words, when used strategically to accentuate certain words and phrases–the benefits of talking with your hands are twofold. First, it improves your credibility with your listener. Second, research suggests that gesturing with your hands while you speak can help you to think more clearly.