See the news last night? Ooh yes… nasty blouse.

by Sarah Lockett on May 28, 2020

An old joke, but true! Never mind the headlines, did the presenter do, wear or express something through his/her body language that distracted you from the story?

We know 70% of communication is non-verbal. And, as I teach in my Media Training sessions, these factors can be very off-putting and stop you from putting across your message effectively. Today I am thinking about: body language.

Sarah Lockett, TBD Media
Sarah Lockett, TBD Media

I would include in that: facial expression, eyes, eyebrows, head movement, hands, arms, shifting weight from foot to foot (if standing), bobbing up and down, swaying, glancing around shiftily, absent-mindedly looking around the room (if on a remote call), eye contact (with the camera/webcam or interviewer, if they’re with you). Plus some off-the-wall examples I have seen, including: stroking your thigh during an interview (yes!), twisting the fabric of your jacket, fiddling with bangles/watch etc. These are what a poker player would call your “tell”, the leaking out of your anxiety, a displacement activity for your nerves.

I love it when interviewees have energy and spark! At least they’re not dull and closed-off. BUT this can come across as anxiety or panic – and it’s not calming/reassuring when you have to communicate that you are in charge, on top of a situation, in control. People who run/jog, or who are pretty fit, often have this kind of energy – giving the impression they’d rather be hitting the tarmac and working off their energy in a marathon instead of sitting in an office being trained by me. I hate to dampen people’s sparkle, but in SOME candidates, it’s better to calm that boiling energy and focus it a bit more.

There’s a whole 45 minutes I could do about body language! But this is a short blog, a taster of my thoughts on the subject. Get in touch for details of my Remote Presentation Training – 90 minutes, usually via Zoom – and I promise not to crush your fabulousness!