Vanessa Van Edwards is the lead investigator at Science of People, a human behavior research lab. She is a Huffington Post columnist and published author. Her innovative work has been featured on NPR, Business Week and USA Today. She regularly gives keynotes and appears in the media to talk about her research. She has written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes. Her latest book, Captivate, was chosen as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017.
Most common body language mistakes people make in business meetings
They are very similar to mistakes most people make at most interactions. We focus a lot on the verbal, we don’t focus on how we say things.
People show up to a meeting and don’t care about the first impression. It’s important to know how to leverage the first seven seconds. What’s more, your first impression doesn’t start when you say your first words or show your first presentation slide, it starts the moment someone first sees you.
What to pay attention in others’ body language
In meetings, as we’re mostly sitting around a table we can’t see others’ legs and hands. Do focus on facial expressions. Vanessa’s mentor Dr. Paul Ekman did research and discovered that facial expressions are genetic, coded. There are 7 universal facial expressions. You can learn how to decode these micro-expressions in this article written at Vanessa’s blog. A facial expression that is difficult to catch is contempt.
The body language for winning an important meeting
Pay attention three moments that people remember of any meeting:
- First few seconds. Say “Good morning”, or a sincere “How are you?” Give a good handshake. If handshake is not possible, wave your hands to greet people.
- Last few seconds. Have a big call to action, with the right energy. Shake hands to say goodbye.
- The peak moments. Craft a peak moment or highlight that people will remember. Otherwise what they will remember of you is a “low” moment.
Have an open body, nothing block your torso, not papers, not crossing your arms.
Instead, the worst people skills’ advice Vanessa has heard is: be the bubbly extrovert.
This episode is brought to you by SEIDAT, a business presentation tool that helps you to have more productive meetings and increase your sales. To start using SEIDAT for free, go to www.seidat.com
“May anyone who comes into contact with me, whether they hear about me or they see me or they think about me, experience a benefit and happiness.” — Buddhist prayer
Resonate by Nancy Duarte
Routine to Shine
On your next phone call, video-record yourself at your end. You will observe your body language expressions. Do it every few weeks.
Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People (Vanessa’s new book)
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