Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Non-verbal communication helps to make good first imPRessions

December 27, 2010 , , ,

By Jenny Chufar                                                                                                                                                                  Associate, ImPRessions Account

There are many types of non-verbal communication that an individual should be attentive to during a professional presentation, interviewing for a job and giving a speech.  These communication types can be broken down into the categories of appearances, gestures and facial expressions.

First, it is very important that a person pays attention to their appearance before engaging in a professional event.  How a person looks is just as important as what a person says.  For example, wearing professional attire conveys a message of professionalism and seriousness.  Every person should be sure to dress in nice clothes, such as a business suit or nice dress.  Don’t forget about the little details such as lint, stains or tears, which will subtract from the overall affect of your attire.  Likewise, be careful when accessorizing your outfit because gaudy sunglasses and inappropriate purses or pocket books may negatively represent you.

Second, every person unknowingly makes gestures during a professional event that communicates a message to the audience or interviewer.  Therefore these gestures must be carefully minded in order to ensure success.  Shaking hands is a great example of a gesture that will make or break an interview.  A handshake should be open and honest, implying that you are a true and respectful professional.  Be sure to greet everyone with a handshake and do so with energy and enthusiasm.  Ultimately, let your body language portray your professionalism. Stay calm and do not fidget or gesture too much. Avoid leaning back or appearing too relaxed.  Also, sit up straight to demonstrate your interest as to ensure that you are engaged with your prospective employer.

Expressions are also a crucial component of non-verbal communication.  Something like a smile can convey gratitude and generosity.  A smile can also show cooperation and understanding.  An honest full smile will express to your audience or interviewer that you are friendly, open, and interested in being involved with them. Making eye contact is of utmost importance in making a lasting impression.  Make good eye contact by looking in the eyes of your interviewer; this will communicate confidence and sincerity.  Conversely, frequently looking away suggests that you are not interested or that you are easily distracted.  Also, pay attention to your other facial expressions. For example, if your face reacts negatively when speaking of a former employer, this can speak volumes about your personality.   Instead, act genuinely gracious for your opportunities with all your interviewers.   In addition, be sure to show that you are listening by nodding your head and responding at appropriate times.

Your attire, gestures and facial expressions can help keep the attention of your audience and can either make or break an interview with a potential employer.  These three forms of expression are unspoken, but are very important in displaying a professional attitude.

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