The Power of Body Language

It only takes seven seconds to make a first impression

If you’re like most artists, you communicate best through visuals and not necessarily speaking. My first speaking gig came when I had to design and present a financial literacy course on behalf of my former employer to 7 classes of middle schoolers.

First off, I’ve never done public speaking. Second, I went to design school – I’ve never touched, yet designed, a PowerPoint presentation. Third, I had to learn the content of my new employer inside and out. Three different tasks that I’ve never done, yet had to learn and master ASAP. I read that public speaking ranked as one of the top fears the American public faces, next to shark attacks (whaaat?). While I ended up engaging the classes through my spastic, energetic presentation and being asked to come back several times, it was still a nerve-wracking experience.

Enter Launch Stance

Being a part of the design community, we recognized that this was an area young and rusty designers could benefit from. I was excited to help organize The Power of Body Language Workshop with Kelly Blackwell, a former university creative director and bartender who left Pensacola, Florida to pursue her new body-language business venture in sunny California called Launch Stance. Super professional and interactive. I’m a big body language dork and have watched Amy Cuddy’s Your body language shapes who you are Ted talk at least 10 times in the past 3 years.

3 body language tips I found helpful:

  1. Giving your gaze a purpose can help establish trust. Leadership (power) gazing involves looking between your audience’s eyes to forehead in a triangle (looking up). Ol’ Bill Clinton is a good example.
  2. Use vocal power to convey confidence. Use the lowest natural end of your voice tone and avoid the question inflection. I am definitely guilty of this, especially when it comes down to talking about pricing. Somehow I think it will soften the “blow” but in reality, I’m  Instead, Kelly suggests stating things matter-of-factly.
  3. Mirroring your audience’s movements makes you seem friendlier. This fact I was aware of since people generally like to be around other similar people and my husband is in sales. 

For more body language tips, visit ScienceofPeople.com/Influence.

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