We are continuously creating a non-verbal communication message and sending quiet cues through body language. In addition to wearing clothing that furthers your goals, non-verbal communication can be a tool to send certain messages. Posture, eye contact, hand gestures and stance all play a part in how others view us. It’s important to pay attention to various aspects of our presentation and make sure they’re all working together to send the same meaning.
Some things to consider:
1. Facial Expression: When communicating with others, facial expressions can give away what you’re really feeling. Make sure to be mindful of your facial expressions and that they match your tone of speech and what you’re saying.
2. Arm Movements: Many of us make movements with our hands or arms when we communicate. Arm movements can exaggerate or emphasize our verbal communication. When communicating in a professional setting, however, make sure that your arm movements are toned down.
3. Posture and Stance: How we stand and present ourselves can make or break a first impression! Make sure that you stand up straight and don’t cast your eyes downward when communicating with others. Looking down can symbolize a disinterest in the conversation. Keep constant eye contact and smile when appropriate. Of course, remember to shake hands when meeting with professionals.
The style of our clothing and accessories can also say a lot about us. Do you know what messages your clothing and accessories send?
4. What we’re carrying: What do you bring with you to professional settings? To casual events? What we’re carrying can impact people’s first impressions of our character. Having a purse or knapsack handy suggests that you always come prepared. However, make sure that you avoid carrying unnecessary items.
5. Dressing appropriately: Make an effort to dress at a level equal to the formality of the event. In addition, dress accordingly for the weather. Not dressing appropriately can suggest that you aren’t prepared, as well as would mean you’ll be uncomfortable in your attire! Shivering or sweating while introducing yourself can be embarrassing in a first impression. Make sure to check both the dress code and the weather in advance as well as prepare your attire the day before. This way you can check for stains, wrinkles, tears or other problems.
6. Outerwear: What you wear on top of your attire can also indicate your preparedness in dressing for the event. Your outerwear should complement your outfit and be consistent with your overall style, not to mention appropriate for the weather!
Always consider how you’re creating a non-verbal communication message, and what it is saying about you.