Book Review by Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach
♥ Love This One
“The purpose of this book is to help you recognize the power of body language and turn you into a top notch communicator.” (p. 8). Like every word in this little book, the author Elizabeth Kuhnke efficiently articulates how to inspire and relate to others based on your ability to read body language. These are essential skills for coaches, therapists, trainers, managers, leaders and people who work with people… as almost everyone needs to build empathy, trust and rapport and learn how to persuade, negotiate and lead. And yes, that includes introducing yourself to a room full of strangers, having that difficult conversation with that difficult person and motivating people to change.
Some useful gems:
- To feel at ease and increase rapport while networking, act as if you are the host of your own party (open smiles, body and gestures, survey the room like you own it.)
- Don’t jump to conclusions based on one gesture or tone; interpret body language in clusters and context.
- If the other person’s body is still and gestures are few, match their containment. You’ll have difficulty establishing rapport if you are bouncing off the walls.
- Before interviews and leading groups: find a private mirror, smile, lift your head high, widen your stance and stretch your arms up and out. Think, Superwoman. Ideally hold this pose for two minutes to activate testosterone flow. Then shake out arms and legs and give yourself a big, genuine smile.
- To raise your energy, openess and engagement, smile and lift the muscles at the corner of the eyes as well as the mouth to create a genuine welcoming expression. Bright eyes denote interest, soft eyes denote care. Aim for 65%-85% eye contact. Any more is just weird.
And to leave you with an interesting quote from George Bernard Shaw (p.193), “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Body Language by Elizabeth Kuhnke is a book I’ll dip into often to help my clients become cool, calm and connected communicators.
© 2017 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Articles and reviews reflect the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au