Body Language Tips before your Next Big Meeting

Body Language is very crucial, especially when you have a big meeting and you are the hero. If you do not seem to be confident while giving a presentation or explaining the facts, then you might look insecure, unreliable, or unimpressive. When you enter into the room, you should look very confident, full of positive vibes and with the right body language.

Not only an appropriate body language is essential in a big meeting, but it should be perfect everywhere- be it an interview, training sessions or a meeting. Body Language includes everything beginning from your outfit, your hairstyle, accessories that you wear and how you are carrying your documents.

From the time you enter the room, you are judged by people with different kinds of opinions. So it is imperative that when you enter the room, your shoulders should never be droopy instead should be upright, greet others well, good eye contact is essential, hand gestures should be positive, etc. There are many things that you would have to be diligent about before entering the meeting room. Listed below are few points to assist you so that you look confident and convincing

Stay at a particular spot

Do not move too much as it would make noise, distract people, and would seem that you are getting bored in the meeting. Ensure that you make a balance between a formal posture and movement. You should keep your legs still and do not wiggle in the chair too much. You should neither lean back too much as it seems that you are too casual, nor should you lean forward as it gives an impression that you are aggressive.

Always sit straight in the meetings or interviews and show that you are at ease, but not at all lazy.

Eye contact

Let us come to another significant element, which is eye contact. You have to be very diligent in the meeting when it comes to maintaining eye contact. You should try and keep a natural smile on your face and strive to maintain eye contact diligently, as it shows that you are confident and sure about what you are talking. Once you lose eye contact, it shows that you are not interested, dishonest, or insecure. Not to forget, that too much eye contact can also turn into staring, so ensure that you do not cross the thin line between eye contact and staring. Just make sure that you have eye contact with everyone present in the meeting. It depicts that you are paying attention to everyone present in the meeting.

Hand gestures

At times, with your hand movements, you would not even know while others would have already make presumptions about you. Playing with your hair, jiggling with a pen, crossing your arms and sitting, etc. all these factors show that you are not interested in the meeting and getting bored; try to avoid such things. Never cross your arms and sit as it depicts that you are feeling uncomfortable. You should positively use your hands. The hand movements that you can use are using palm which represents positivity and honesty. One more point is that do not again and again touch your face or neck as others present there would understand that either you are nervous or feeling uneasy, so avoid it.

Monitor your tone

If you talk to people in a clear and crisp voice, it portraits that you are confident and have complete knowledge of what you are talking.  Breathe and take a pause when someone asks you a question. It would benefit you by giving some time and preparing for the tone that you should use. Also, ensure that you let the question finish first before you answer it, else it would seem very rude and would represent you as a bad listener or impatient. Your tone should not vary too much as sometimes very low and sometimes too exciting. Your rate of speech should also be taken care of as if you speak too fast, people would not understand your point and would also look as if you are afraid. So, the best solution to it is that you should not be apologetic or defensive; interact with the interviewers as an equal.

Mirror the body language

Mirroring others body language mean sitting like others, but that does not mean that you intentionally just start copying every movement. You should try and match with other positive body movements; it would give an excellent impression and would not make you look awkward. Do not let them know that you are precisely copying them. Just nod if everyone is doing so, smile on the positive and good points, etc. The art of mirroring is doing it naturally by not letting others know, as it can create an unpleasant situation. Hence, only do it when it seems appropriate else do not do it.

Hand shake

‘How is your handshake’ matters a lot when you are going for a big meeting. You would have to connect to many big delegates of the company and would have to handshake with them. So it is imperative for you to understand its importance. A weak handshake depicts that you are not confident and may appear that you are nervous. On the contrary, a very strong handshake would portrait you being too aggressive and would leave a negative impact on others.

So, be careful and work on your handshake. It should be firm, and the other person should instantly feel the enthusiasm, positivity, and endurance in you.

These were a few points that you need to be watchful about so that others do not know what is going on inside you. Here is the gist of the above points-

  • Do not move unnecessarily and avoid making noises from the chair or by playing with the pen.
  • Maintain healthy eye contact with all the people sitting in the room.
  • Do not fold your hands and sit; it shows that you are not comfortable.
  • Both high and low pitch should be avoided.
  • Nod the head when everybody does if you agree to the point and sit as others to refrain looking awkward.
  • A firm handshake with a natural smile leaves a very positive impression.

Hence, follow all these particulars to make your meeting successful and to look presentable. Last but not least, always respect every individual in the meeting and have a professional attitude.

How to tell if someone is lying

No human being in this world is entirely truthful. Each one of us possesses the ability to lie. In a case study, it was found that almost every second person on this planet tells a lie once in a day. Fortunately, there are many ways by which you can figure out that the person whom you are talking or dealing with is speaking the truth or not. There are many signs by which you can spot the other person whether they are telling a lie.

Establishing the baseline is very important before identifying a fib. You need to know about the typical actions and reactions of the person. How do they react when they are honest, and then you will be able to know whether the person is speaking the truth or lying. You can ask a series of simple set of questions such as- ‘where are you from’? And then observe their eyes and pitch of the sound. The other thing you need to watch is the way they are sitting, if they are getting uncomfortable in their seat, they may begin to fidget, or their voice may also crack if they are getting nervous.

Once you have established this primary baseline, then you need to shift on the other signs which we are going to discuss below:

1) Behavioral pause or delay

When you ask a person a question and you get the answer after a delay or after some pause, this may be the sign that the person is lying. Though it is not absolute or certain, as it depends on some other aspects as well such as how long was the delay or that pause for after you asked that question, to consider it a deceptive indicator. Some other reasons for the delay might be the person is getting nervous, and that is why not able to give spontaneous answers. In that case, you need to make the person relax, bring him back to normal and then start the drill.

2) Repeating the questions– When someone is repeating the words and phrases, there may be something fishy going on in their mind or might be they are validating the lie in their brain. The example of this kind of expression could be when someone is saying ‘i did i did’ more than twice. The other reason for the repetitive words or questions is that they gather their thoughts to buy themselves some more time to make a bogus story.

3) Dubious expressions

If the person you are talking to is unnecessarily blushing, blinking, making fake smiles, or flaring nostrils, these might be the chances that the person is being untruthful at that moment. These might be giving too much room for false positives for going on by expressions alone. And indeed it is too difficult even for a trained professional to pick up a person who is lying just based on their facial expressions.

Facial expressions also include the movement of eyes, the mouth by rolling the lips back to such point where it almost disappears, changes in complexion, and sweating or dryness. 

4) Verbal or nonverbal disconnect

Our brain has been wired up in a way that it automatically connects both verbal and nonverbal behaviors to match up. In case it does not match or gets disconnected, it may be an indicator of deception. A typical example of a verbal and nonverbal disconnect is when someone says ‘no’ and nods his/her head as by saying ‘yes’, it is the mismatch and there is a great possibility that the person is lying. Some people might be thinking how could this disconnect be possible, but it is true that for deceptive persons. It is possible as they do it unintentionally without even thinking about it. This is how they get themselves trapped in their behavior disconnection.

5) Inconsistency-

It is quite easy to rely on Inconsistency as a proxy for dishonesty. Lier’s can’t keep their stories straight, and they tend to fumble in between they are talking or telling their story, this is where to spot them on. Another way of catching a lier is to ask them their story at least twice. Perhaps, they are going to change or add some other things in their story unintentionally. Another way is to ask them to start telling their story from the end and stop them where they began their story from.

6) Swallowing and Throat clearing-

If a person is significantly clearing his throat or repeatedly swallowing while asking the question or before answering, that could be one of the signs. Although you cannot label him a deceptor just by observing this expression of clearing the throat or swallowing as a couple of things might be happening with him like that question would have created a spike of anxiety within him or he may not know what to say that moment which caused dryness in the throat or it may have displeased the person of listening to that question due to some personal reason. 

7) Irrelevant superlatives-

If the person is using unnecessary superlatives such as, tremendous, absolutely, literally, it may be an indication that they are telling a lie. There is nothing wrong if you use these words, but it is expected to use these words , and in the manner, it is required.  Putting them unnecessarily to frame your sentences is not authentic and could lead a bad impression. The people who prepare their speech and are not speaking to distract you, use such words repeatedly.

8) Grooming gestures-

The other reason that why some people may deplete anxiety is through some physical activity like touching your immediate surrounding things or in the form of grooming oneself.

When you ask a question and before answering, if a person adjusts his tie, cough lings, shirt, hair or do anything which makes you suspicious about his gesture, it may be the sign. If a person is excessively sweating and wiping out his sweat from a handkerchief, it might be skeptical. If a person is tieding up the surrounding during the question is being asked, it might be another indication.

9) Shuffling their feet-

This happens when the body is taking over. It often reflects that the person who might be lying is nervous and  due to which, he is tapping or shuffling his feet. It might also indicate that they want to get out of the situation where they are at present.

So, with these signs, you can get a conception about the other person and tell whether he is lying or not. However, in the real-life scenarios, there are no sure-shot and universal indications that tell about the lying behavior of the other person. The most important thing is to trust what your instinct says. Learn to acknowledge your gut feelings and you can master the intuitive sense of spotting lying and honesty.

Go on, try using these tips, and let me know if you succeed.