I figured out a technique to improve body language that totally kicks ass. This can take as little as thirty minutes.
So I was working on this video, making a presentation for work. The video is basically me standing up and telling a story. It’s short, less than five minutes. I was speaking off-the-cuff, although I had told the same story probably a dozen times to friends. I was doing this at home, alone, so I was talking straight into the camera. Have you ever given an extensive dialogue on camera or in front of a mirror? It’s weird. You become very self conscious. There’s no one to vibe off of. It made me realize three things:
- Much of our body language is reactive and dependent on who we’re interacting with. If you’re hanging with an old pal, you’ll feel relaxed and you’ll express your chillness through your body language.
- When you’re by yourself, your body language tends to fall apart. You’ll do whatever you feel like doing and not pay attention.
- My body language totally sucked! I had all kinds of weird idiosyncrasies. My shoulders looked tight, I was pecking my head forward and looking down towards my feet. My hand movements were lousy. Here was my first impression: uncomfortable, kinda dorky, not powerful, sketchy, looks down too much, unchill. My BL was telegraphing a wealth of information, and that information screamed chode. It was so bad, I couldn’t even concentrate on the actual story. Even my smile, which I thought was killer, was mediocre. Not good.
Everyone knows that body language and non-verbal communication is HUGE when socializing, especially in the context of of a pickup (or a first impression). Your BL can and will break you during a cold approach. If you don’t have it locked down, expect to get blown out in seconds.
I went back and re-recorded my presentation. It took me five takes before I eliminated all the spasticness and smoothed out the performance. After the fifth take, my little performance finally telegraphed the following: authority, cool, powerful, confident, natural. The person after the fifth take was attractive. He was someone you would want to talk to and ask questions afterwards.
So my tip is get a video camera, record yourself telling a story (should be unscripted, not memorized or read), and then review. Go back and revise your body language. Eliminate all tics, weirdness, and dorkiness. At the end of exercise, you want to project cool.
Also, work on your smile. Does it look as good to other people as you think it looks? This is the biggest gun in your arsenal.
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Thanks to a couple of people who emailed a previous post on the same topic and pointing out the excellent clip.