Due to today’s technology, we’ve grown used to seeing things represented by a vector; causing us to forget how our body language or facial expressions can be interpreted. One great way to check in on your body language and facial expression is by videotaping yourself while having a discussion or in a meeting (be sure to get the permission of the other party).
When you review the video, what do you think you’ll see?
- Posture: Were your hands or arms crossed?
- Eyes: Were your eyes wandering around?
- Mouth: Were your lips pursed hard together? Were you frowning?
- Ears: Were you distracted by other sounds?
How many times did you answer yes?
If you answered yes to any of these questions – even if it was only one – you are a front-runner for the PEME award. So, the next time you have an opportunity to win a PEME, turn it down!
How to improve your body language and facial expressions
The best way to do that is to tune into your body language and facial expressions by:
Uncross your arms and /or hands. By doing this, you present approachable and professional body language, inviting the person you are conversing with to feel more comfortable while speaking to you.
Focus your eyes on the person you’re speaking with. Do not give them a piercing stare, but a look that demonstrates you are engaged and actively listening.
Relax your lips so that you do not appear to be frowning. People often believe if you are frowning, you are not really listening to them. Frowning can also be a sign of confusion or annoyance, and you would never want to appear annoyed during a professional conversation.
Tune out any noise that is not directly linked to your present conversation. If you are distracted by sounds that are not part of the conversation, your eyes will wander over to where the sound is coming from.
Remember, your body language and facial expressions will always speak louder than anything you say.