Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass

Your Body Language Can Improve Your Career

October 14, 2021 Jon Michail Season 1 Episode 13
Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass
Your Body Language Can Improve Your Career
Show Notes Transcript

Body Language is a powerful communication tool. Are you using it in the right way? In this episode, Jon explains how to use Body Language to boost your credibility and career.

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Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)


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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of image group international and award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies, and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques, and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image, and reputation.

Hello, everybody, today we will chat about your body language and how it can improve your career. Before I start, I can't ask you to subscribe to the podcast on a platform you're listening to. So every time we have a new episode, you will be notified. Cheers.

Okay, so let's get started. One language is the range of nonverbal signals that you use to communicate your feelings, your intentions. These include also your posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures. You might think, why is body language so important? As Albert Mehrabian said, Dr. Albert Moravian actually, "nonverbal communication has been shown to carry between 65 and 93% more impact than the actual words spoken". So to break that down, what you say is rated at 7%. how you say it is rated at 38%. And how you look is rated at 55%. So 93% of all communication is nonverbal. Foreign Language will define the way people see you. And that's why your body language is so important for your personal branding and reputation. 

And I want to give you some examples of that. You know, some examples, for instance, in reference to using negative body language, and it would be basically not using Enough of your space around you nervous mannerisms, handling objects, what you know, fiddling with things, pointing as opposed to sitting symmetrically, these will be regarded as some of the negative symbols that communicate messages that are not positive for your personal brand and reputation. So part of the positive signals in your body language, otherwise, also known as your physiology, is the opposites of some of the ones I've mentioned. So using up space, stillness, standing comfortably, sitting symmetrically, contact, and open palms. 

So let's do a quick exercise. We'll take a second to look at yourself and evaluate your body language. And when I ask you some questions, what is your posture saying about you? Do you come across as powerful? confident with an erect body? And ahead held high? Or do you seem timid with your arms crossed? A quick physiology checklist on your body language. You know, you can answer this from a yes or no perspective? Do I use my smile with confidence? Do I stand up straight? Do I make eye contact? Do I look nervous? Do I use my hands effectively? And is my verbal communication clear and succinct? Depending on how you answered those questions will reveal how much more work you might have to do with your personal development to learn more about your body language, and of course, how you can learn new techniques to empower yourself. 

You need to be aware of your body language in every situation, especially in the workplace, from a business meeting to a job interview, so imagine zoom that has become so popular today. If you are not presenting well with your body language on zoom, including, and by the way, I've made similar mistakes myself not facing the camera and looking down as opposed to you know, as opposed to really speaking directly to the audience, no different to if you want other television sets, then potentially, you're not communicating effectively, and bringing up you know, question marks in how confident you are especially because your eyes might be going all over the place or your heads facing down. So zoom is very important, but also job interviews. 

You know, I've seen a lot of job interviews where people have missed out on the job. Not because of their skills, but because of the conference that didn't come across as confident. And this is a common one. And you know, and what happens here is when you do miss out on a job interview or a business pitch, because of that, rarely will you get feedback that says, for instance, your body language indicated a lack of confidence. People give you excuses, they will not tell you the truth, rarely will they tell you the truth. So it's important that you learn this for yourself, you get confident around this, you know, and, of course, you know, it's a shame, because imagine going into a job interview, or a business meeting doing a pitch. And you're getting judged on some of these soft skills that we haven't been taught prior before. But we all know how important they are. Because we're actually judging people ourselves. When we do that, you know, and sometimes we're doing it ourselves. And of course, we don't like it, then when people judge us on that.

However, we must consider also that body language is also not always voluntary. And in many, many cases, it's part of your subconscious behavior. So it's very important to learn how to control that and, and it is difficult sometimes to control that because the subconscious behavior is already operating before you consciously are aware of it. So the idea here is don't worry if you make mistakes, it's catching yourself and practice and get better next time. Okay, this is the key. 

So let me tell you how I use body language to deal with uncomfortable situations. Of course, I'm a lot more positive today than I was when I was 25. So certainly, but we're all human beings. So from a body language point of view, is I anchor my mind and body to positive actions. So before going to, let's say, a business pitch, or an interview, even with media, I, you know, I anchor myself with some deep diaphragm breathing, some deep breaths, to get rid of some of the butterflies. Why erect a confident posture. So what that means is that my, my structure on the base of my neckline to the bottom is straight, the guy that that erection gives you that erect posture gives you basically a powerful stance. I relax my body, I shake out if I have to. What's important here is you don't come across as rigid. Next, also, I make sure that my hands are visible, visible to the point that people can see him, you know, and of course, if you remember the old cowboy movies, right, again, you know, wait, if you didn't see their hands, it was like, Oh, am I gonna get shot right now. Again, the same thing with a sword. In sword come back move is the same thing that the hands reveal a concept around, I trust you, you know, meaning like do no harm. Some other ones, of course, a firm handshake that I'll cover a little bit more further down as well. And also a relatable smile. And the relatable smile means not a cheesy smile. You know you know the cheesy smile as you get on a used car salesman. You don't want that sort of smile, you want it to be natural, relaxed, but definitely smile because if you don't smile, also, you're communicating all sorts of messages then including, possibly that you're not very happy in your life. Right. So these are all things just to be really conscious about.

Okay, so let's just continue with this practice. So I can give you some more tips that will help you improve your body language. Remember, the more you practice is this is the key, the more natural they will come and the more effective they will be. So basically the first tip is eye contact and natural expressions. In Western culture, specifically, the eye is regarded as the mirror to the soul. When you are communicating with people and if you don't look at them in the eye, what you're conveying is potential messages of no trust, lack of confidence, and something shipped. He might be going on. Now, this will not be true. But remember, we're talking about perceptions here. And perceptions become reality in the person that has the perception. So it's up to us to sort of change that way of being from a perception point of view if we think that's a problem. Another one is the and this is an interesting one, the eyebrow flash, you know, when you catch someone, you know, someone's eye that is friendly and reassuring, again, for a few seconds, you try to respond with, you know, the eye, brown, like his eyebrow, flash, so you're doing in a way with signs, you know, with it signals either disapproval or hostility, you know, it can, if you don't respond, obviously, in a friendly and reassuring way. 

Another way is looking down your nose, you know, and looking down your nose is typical, you know when you've seen somebody looking down their nose, and they wearing what we would call it half blindness, glasses, reading glasses, they're very pompous from the nose, right? You see this in the improper cereal types, okay, they look down their nose when they communicating. Of course, that's not the most effective way of building rapport. Because the tip here is to be engaged. And engagement will happen when you're relatable to people. That's how you build relationships, you get rich by relating. So your voice also will come into play, then words are not treated as part of physiology, but the voice that speaks them is this is interesting. So voice gives a whole wealth of information about us, our background, our culture, our class lie just sex, or birthplace, or color, or race, or assertiveness or mental health or confidence. So some people even suggest, you know, and studies have shown is that you can tell a person's height from the voice. So variations in voice pitch and rhythm also show how we feel, and whether something is very important to us. So from a body language point of view, and an engagement, yes, even the voice matters. And we know it does anyway, having open postures, and what that means also has been open. So if you're closed, you know, even as a, you know, so you've heard the saying a closed personality, well, a closed personality is not going to be able to build many relationships. So the key here is to open yourself up and what that means is that times is getting a little bit vulnerable, around that space. So you can open yourself up from the point of view of, you know, loosening up, checking yourself from the perspective of how tight you are, and just really, you know, occasionally get a message. I think that's a good idea.

The last one, or one of the last ones is the firm handshake. Now the firm handshake is very important because a firm handshake does not mean crushing somebody's hand, it means to have enough firmness and this is very important for the men to remember this as well because I've seen a lot of men at times crush women's hands because they've done it from a point of view of a power perspective and you don't want to do that. So you know, you got to gauge it from the point of view that it's got its firm, but at the same time, it leaves a softness behind meaning you know, we've built with you know, we built a report, and certainly a relationship. Okay, now I've come to my last tip, fake it. And let me explain, say success in your mind's eye before you get success.

Famous social psychologist Amy Cuddy said in her TED Talk, that our nonverbal behavior governs how we feel about ourselves. She said, when you pretend to be powerful, you actually feel powerful. And the ancients said similar things in reference to set your mind's eye to the future where you want to be not where you are today. That's what Fiat means it doesn't mean anything else. So occasionally, you got to set yourself up from the concept of fake it till you become

Well, the show is almost over. Thank you for your attention. Please email me if you want my help to promote yourself in the media. The email is on the description of the episode. As always, if you liked this episode, please share it with your friends, family, and colleagues. You can also share it on your social media. You can follow me on Twitter at jon_michael or LinkedIn as Jon Michael and on Facebook as Image Group International.  If you like the show, I'd like you to write it on Apple Podcasts. For this, you just need to click on the link in the episode description. Thank you all see you next week and wishing you abundance in all you do, cheers.

Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world.   To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit or call 1800 631 311.