Use of Body Language in Communication

Did you know that while in India or America a "fantastic" or an "ok" sign is demonstrated by forming a circle with your thumb and forefinger, in Tunisia the same symbol means "I will kill you" and in Japan it means "money"?

Kinesics or study of body language must be understood by all. Whether it is an interview or a presentation, one must be aware of how to use body language effectively.

Read on to understand more about various non verbal components of communication...

  1. Eye Contact: Always maintain eye contact with your audience. However, a person must ensure that he / she should not fix his gaze at one person for more than 5 seconds. Too much fluttering of eyes could indicate lack of confidence. Staring at a person could be daunting and hence is not such a good idea.

  2. Hand Shake: While shaking hands especially in a professional environment, the hand shake should be firm and not loose. An iron handshake [very strong handshake] can indicate that a person is trying to dominate.

  3. Crossing your Arms: Crossing your arms could imply that a person is not open to new ideas / opinion especially in case of giving a presentation. However, in a one-on-one interview if the interviewer has his / her arms crossed, the candidate could do the same.

  4. Sitting Posture: Leaning on a chair is not a good idea. One must sit upright though in a relaxed position. Sitting back in your chair implies lack of interest or rejection.

  5. Gesture: Gesture refers to a type of non verbal communication which uses a part of the body with or without verbal communication. Gestures include facial expressions, nods [which is a sign of approval in most cultures], head bobbling / shaking.

  6. Facial Expression: The face is a best reflection of what a person feels. More often than not it is easy to recognize if a person is happy, sad, anxious, irritated, or excited. It is very important that in a professional scenario a person must control his / her facial expressions. For e.g. If a presenter gets a feel that his presentation is not going on very well, he / she should not show the sign of losing of hope and instead try for a greater involvement from the participants.

Enjoy working with kinesics. Good Luck!


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