The importance of personal presentation is something we really advocate in our training as we all know that a prospect will make a judgement about us within the first 30 seconds of meeting.

 

However it goes beyond having polished shoes, a nice pen and a smart outfit. Research shows that body language and the way we conduct ourselves can have a profound effect on the outcome of a first meeting.

 

Joe Navarro an FBI Profiler, has spent many years in the field studying humans and their behaviours. Here a couple of ideas he recommends to project power and confidence -

 

  • Steeple your hands to give off a subconcious impression of confidence.

  • Link your fingers together while pointing your thumbs at yourself – this projects power and is often used in interviews and press opportunities by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

Another interesting idea is pointing your feet towards the person you are speaking to. Pointing you feet at the other person shows you are engaged and your intention is with them. 

 

Conversely if your feet are pointing away from them or in opposite directions it can indicate you are keen to get away!.

 

This is also true in a group situation. If you approach a smaller group at a networking event and their feet are pointing in opposite directions it can indicate that they are opening to someone joining in their conversation.

 

A recent Hubspot blog outlined the findings of a study by the Journal of Psychological Science. What they found is that if you force a smile for one minute, it can actually cheer you up and calm your nerves. In fact, if lowers your heart rate and reduces your stress levels.

 

You might feel a bit silly sitting in the car grinning like mad into your rear view mirror, but hey, if it helps you close the deal and keep those nerves at bay, then why not!

One of the most common ideas that we probably all know (hopefully) is not to cross your arms when in conversation. Its an oldy but a goodie, and can make the other person subconciously feel that we are uncomfortable, bored or impatient.

 

Something I discovered during my reading for this blog is that we have something that is called a Mammalian Brain. I had heard of our reptile brain but this one was new to me. Anyway, our Mammalian brain emerged in the first mammals and records memories of behaviours and actions that produced agreeable and disagreeable results. This means it is responsible for our emotions.

 

The Mammalian brain tells us that when we are uncomfortable or nervous, we should touch our face or our neck. This goes way back to when we are children and may suck our thumbs or play with our earlobes for comfort. Don't do this when you are with a colleague or prospect as it can give off the impression of nervousness.

 

One final thought is on the power of touch. Salesforce.com says that simply touching someones arm (where appropriate) can create a sense of connection and comfort. This could be the deciding factor that means you get the sale across the line, make a new connection or move forward with a prospect.

 

Takeaways

 

  • Steeple your hands to give off a subconcious impression of confidence.

  • Link your fingers together while pointing your thumbs at yourself.

  • Point your feet at the person you are speaking to, this shows intention.

  • Force a smile for a minute to calm your nerves – this lowers stress levels and your heart rate.

  • Dont cross your arms with a new colleague or prospective client.

  • DON'T touch your face! - but DO touch their arm (where appropriate) to create a human connection.

 

If you can't do great things, do small things in a great way.” - Napoleon Hill

 

 

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