Here are ten good body language lessons we can learn from Priyanka Chopra from her recent appearance on Koffee with Karan and try and imbibe them in our face to face interactions, be it with clients, family members, boardroom meetings, or dates. Good body language helps us become better communicators and we are able to get our message across to our counterparts more effectively.
1.Notice how she walks into the show with a confident gait. Your walking style is a powerful nonverbal and speaks a lot about how confident you are in yourself. It scores high in the first impression you make on others. Leaders walk with shoulders back, brisk pace, slightly broad gait and looking straight ahead.
2. When Priyanka is seated across from Karan, you notice her dressing. Unlike most females, you notice that she is wearing minimal jewellery. As humans, we tend to orient our attention towards things which are shiny and moving. That is why loud jewellery or danglings tend to take the focus off from the speech of females and make us focus more on their accessories. If you want to appear in control and want people to remember you more for your intelligence, then you need to make sure your accessories do not distract others from the conversation.
3. The picture above shows Priyanka listening to the question being asked. This is a posture of someone listening attentively. We tend to tilt our necks only when we are in the company of someone we are comfortable with. Instinctively we would protect our vulnerable neck from strangers since there can be likelihood of attack. Thus having a tilted neck posture while listening to someone communicates to them that our ears are for them only.
4. As social animals, we tend to put on a “social” or false smile when we believe we should smile back at someone even when we don’t feel genuinely happy. There are lots of evolutionary reasons for these, and we can discuss them another day. But the point here is, if you can make your false smile become close to how a real smile would look like, then you would appear more sociable, warm and genuine to people who smile back at you. A real smile is curved and extends from the lips to reach your eyes. A point to be remembered by leaders is that smiles cannot be a very frequent part of their normal body language (baseline behaviour) in the board room.
5. We sometimes use our hands as emphasisers. This means we want to highlight what we say using our hands. In this particular snap, Priyanka is slapping the armrest of the sofa while telling Karan she is happy to be on the show. The hand bangs down on the sofa just as she is making the comment. When there is effort to force a conversation, the emphasizer can be ill timed. What this means, is that if a person is not committed to what he or she is saying, the bang on the sofa can come milliseconds after the statement is made. You might not notice the same, but the person sitting opposite to you would sense that something you said was not sounding authentic. Use emphasizer like snaps, claps, slaps etc only if you genuinely mean what you say, else they are a dead giveaway.
6. Leaning in while seated is another way of showing genuine interest in the conversation. When we lean in, we bring our torsos closer to our counterpart. By doing this, we are exposing our vulnerable torso which cases the heart, lungs, stomach to the person we are meeting. This is possible only when there is comfort in the conversation, when we trust the person we are talking to, to not threaten us in any manner.
7. Use of broad wide and smooth hand gestures is the sign of a leader. Although the magnitude of your hand gestures should depend on how big your audience is, when your gestures are smooth, it shows that you are in command of your body, that you are sure of what you are speaking about.
8. Palms down gesture should be used when you want to ascertain your surety on a subject or point being discussed. While individuals who frequently use the palms in a downward facing position are perceived as aggressive and dominant, all of us should use this gesture once in a while when we want our counterpart to understand that we believe in the point we are making. This holds true specially for negotiations and business deals.
9. Notice how Priyanka speaks in a low pitched voice throughout the conversation. Females should pay particular attention to the pitch of their naturally high voice. When we are stressed, the pitch of our voice increases. This is a sure telltale sign to the counterpart about our state of mind. Priyanka does not let the pitch of her voice rise, not even when controversial topics are being discussed.
10. Using the perpendicular hands for pointing. A lot of us use the pointed finger for pointing out to others. This is an offensive gesture and the essence of your message can get lost if you use the pointed finger rather freely in your conversations. It is a better idea to use the perpendicular palms when you want to point to something, and to use the hands in a precision grip when you want to make a point.
Body language is always seen in context and in clusters. But these are pointers which are very essential in showing you in command, so try and use them next time in your conversations. Also remember, before trying anything new, practice doing the same within the four walls of your home first.
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