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  • Divna Burchici

POW - Say It With Body Language

At our annual Pearls of Wisdom event, we were joined by Baruch alumnae who shared what they have learned since leaving Baruch and beginning their professional careers. One of those alumnae, and coincidentally past WIB President, was Tina Hussian, whose workshop was geared to help others understand what constituted good and bad body language. In a world where we spend most of our time communicating with others using our phones or computers, it may be easy to forget that we can also communicate with our body. It is not only important to understand the body language of others, but to know what your body language communicates to others.

Every college student should be interested in this nonverbal form of communication simply because body language matters during interviews. As a student, you will or you may have already been interviewed for various opportunities. To succeed in positively communicating through body language, Tina provided us with multiple tips to keep in mind.

First, she stated that eye contact plays a big role in nonverbal communication. You want to maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to, but you do not want to overdo it. It is important to keep a balance by looking elsewhere every once in awhile. Too much eye contact can make the other person feel uncomfortable, but just the right amount shows that you are engaged.

Second, Tina discussed the importance of posture, whether we are standing or sitting. You want to make sure that you are sitting up straight with your shoulders back. To show engagement, you also want to slightly lean forward. On the other hand, you never want to lean back and away from the other person as it may appear that you are disinterested in what he or she has to say.

Next, Tina explained that facial expressions are another form of nonverbal communication. She explained that we want our facial expressions to match our words. In addition, our facial expressions matter even when we are not speaking but just listening to another person. Tina explained that our facial expressions should be pleasant and make others feel comfortable when talking to us.

The next nonverbal form of communication is one that I see others using often: hand gestures. Hand gestures are a great way to communicate, but they should not be overly used. Too many hand gestures can be distracting. Also, Tina explained that we should never cross our arms as it can come across as hostile or insecure.

Tina then covered the topic of speech. She explained that our speech should be slow, concise, and not too high or too low. Once again, balance is key. To ensure that your speech is not monotone or too high or low, Tina encouraged us to try vocal exercises. They may seem ridiculous or funny at first, but they are useful.

Tina’s last and maybe most important tip is to mirror what the other person is doing. Mirroring can facilitate a sense of connection between you and the person you are speaking to. It shows that you are relating to him or her and that both of you are on the same page.

The final thing you need to implement is confidence. Confidence does not come easily, but Tina suggests we begin by doing power poses to boost our confidence. A power pose can be any pose that makes you feel confident and in charge. Just practicing these poses can better prepare you for your next interview. With all these tips in mind, you will surely ace it!

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