Whether you are facilitating a meeting, attending a job interview or delivering a speech, it is important to be aware of what is being communicated through your Non-Verbal Cues.
Want to find out more about non-verbal cues and what to watch out for?
Let me share with you THREE important Non-Verbal Cues to be aware of.
First Cue is your Facial Expression.
Some people have a natural ability to clearly express themselves through their face and for some of us, it takes some effort and practice to exude this.
Have you ever paid attention to your eye movement? Do you tend to look away when you are nervous or have your thinking cap on?
Engaging your eye contact with the other person or the audience is a crucial component in establishing a connection with them.
From my personal experience, when I make an effort to maintain eye contact with an interviewer it helps to continue engaging them and maintaining the level of trust and credibility that I have established.
Your facial expression include smiling, frowning, sighing, appearing sad, angry or excited.
These are common cues we can express and also pay attention to when communicating with another.
What we need to be aware of is when our facial expressions do not match what we want to exude. For example, looking nervous when we want to assure the audience that we are confident that our proposal will add value to the department and organization.
How to turn your nerves to a positive? Practice and focusing on your intention will help you to align your facial expression to the positive message that you have for your audience.
When delivering a speech, it is very useful when you are able to consciously utilize your facial expression when you are trying to illustrate a particular scenario and effectively draw your audience into your presentation. It helps to evoke a certain emotion that you want the audience to feel and bring your story or your point to life.
Second Cue is your Hand Gestures
How you use your hand gestures is crucial in all situations when communicating with another.
Do you use your hand gestures with purpose? Or have you allowed them to do as they wish, having a mind of their own?
From the years of observation, I noticed that many people use their hand gestures unconsciously and most times ineffectively.
Having made gestures does not mean they are effective. The other challenge with hand gestures is how they translate with people from various ethnic groups and how they could mean different things in different cultures.
Therefore, it is important for us to be aware of the hand gestures that we make and how to use it toward our advantage.
There are advanced techniques that you can learn to further enhance your ability to communicate with your audience and many public figures engage with a coach to help them do exactly this.
For a start, it is important to pay attention to what you do when it comes to hand gesture when speaking to one or a group. Pick a trusted friend or colleague to observe and provide you with general feedback on their thoughts of your use of hand gestures.
To improve on your use of hand gestures, I highly recommend participating in a formal workshop or training and have the opportunity to receive feedback from a professional. It is amazing how simple hand gestures can speak volumes and help us communicate with greater purpose.
Third Cue is your Energy
I do not see this topic commonly being shared as part of the topic around body language.
In my opinion, our energy is what drives our body language and therefore, the most crucial component in our Non-Verbal Communication.
Again, this topic is not one that can be learned through one article, video or books.
Understanding our Energy requires effort through investing time in self reflection, personal development courses or coaching and ongoing learning about ourselves.
If you are someone that have great self awareness, the main thing to remember is to empower yourself with the intention you have for that particular speech, the interview or the meeting you are facilitating.
The focus is always around how does what you have to share or offer benefit the person or group that you are interacting with.
When we are in a situation where we feel nervous, it is important to shift your focus from your nervous energy to a positive, empowering energy by having a think of what is recommended above.
Positive affirmations are very effective and a great practice to get into if you want to learn how to effectively manage your energy.
The more time and effort you invest in developing your communication skills, the more effective you will be as a speaker, presenter and be a stand out candidate when interviewing for your dream job.
At Empowered to Speak, we are passionate about helping people to hone in on their ability to communicate confidently and with purpose.
Check out our upcoming Foundations of Success Program that will provide you with an opportunity to develop greater confidence in your communication skills.