Jurassic Gestures: Uncovering the Ancient Art of Body Language

navigation america Jan 26, 2024

How many times have you judged someones ability to do something based on their body language?

Every single time, even if we don't do it consciously , our subconscious is always active behind the scenes trying to figure out everything, after all our brain is a survival tool and it wants to make sure it evaluates every scenario possible to keep you alive. 

Just think, you paid $1000 for a seminar on self-development and your main speaker walks in all shy, acting like a little puppy with his tail tucked between his legs, what would you feel?

Cheated? Deceived? Disgusted? Would you think "I want my money back"? Yea I would too. Regardless of what the speaker is saying , no matter how powerful the words are, how he is saying those words will 

Only about 7% of communication is verbal (the actual words themselves). This figure originates from the work of Dr. Albert Mehrabian, a researcher in the field of body language in the 1960s. His studies concluded that in any face-to-face conversation, 7% of the message is conveyed through words, 38% through tone of voice, and 55% through body language. Please note, these figures stand true unless actual factual information or evidence is being shared in which case words hold a bit more weight and even then your Tone and Body Language holds more weight. Do I have your attention now?

Language only came into existence about 100,000 years ago, which means that for about 200,000 we survived on grunting and making random sounds. Non-verbal cues have a subconscious impact on our thoughts and decisions. For example, a firm handshake or confident posture can subconsciously influence others' perceptions of us, often more powerfully than words can. In this world where deception and con-artistry and people not acting like who they say they are we are more and more drawn to someones non-verbal cues because we like to play the detective, we like to deduce people when we meet them so we can judge them accurately and decide if we want to continue associating with them.

It will impact the big promotion you want at your workplace

It will impact that big deal you want to close

It will impact if your business meetings with potential partners

It will impact any date you go on

Especially in a situation where you're meeting someone for the first time, considering you are trying to associate with someone of high caliber whether it be in business or romantic life, a shoddy body language and unconfident tone of voice will get you rejected over and over. And you can try and experiment with this, if you meet someone and their body language is suffering, you don't have to try hard to win them over because they are insecure. 

Insecurity comes from a lack of identity, which is why we have a heavy focus on Identity in my Peak Performance Mastery. 

From a Neurological standpoint, Mirror Neurons play an important role in your Body Language and how you can influence others with it. When we do something subtle, other humans we're interacting with tend to follow and if we are trying to build rapport and we match their body language, that helps our case. This is why strong feelings like laughing , crying or being sad is contagious. Now you know why the 90's sitcoms has the fake laughter , to send a signal to your brain and activate the mirror neurons.

A major reason why you need to improve your body language is that nowadays it is very easy to be distracted while interacting with others, if your body language is not in full congruence with the words that are coming out of your mouth, then no matter how earnest or how confident your words are, people will have a "Gut feeling" that you are either lying or they can't trust you. They won't tell you that to your face obviously. Their gut feeling is nothing but the misalignment of your words, tone and body language.

Now, you're probably wondering what are some of the things you may be showing subconsciously that are causing the opposite effect on the ones you interact with than what you want to have on them.

I'm gonna start by one of the most damaging one which is probably your posture, hunched shoulders and back , concave chest and chin pointed down.

Your Physiology has the power to send certain signals to the brain which in turn sends out chemicals like testosterone, oxytocin and Dopamine , all of these are the hormones you want to feel. It can also send cortisol which is the stress hormone, moreover, hunching over constantly compresses your organs which inhibits the flow of oxygen to your organs and reduces your ability to actually think right and make decisions.

Also, when your physiology is suffering, you are unable to speak powerfully, it makes you sound weak. Another one that we do subconsciously is any jittery motion, be that with your hands, legs or any sort of fidgeting. 

Avoiding eye contact, no matter if you are a man or a woman, unless you are trying to purposefully make someone feel that they don't matter, avoiding eye contacting is hurting your ability to form a connection.

A lack of facial expressions, smiling, frowning, looking surprised, angst, disgust as long as it is congruence with a conversation are acceptable and people will warm up to you faster. No facial expressions and their subconscious tells them that they're staring at a brick wall. This is why you never see security people showing facial expressions because thats part of the job to appear like a brick wall, they want people to feel unsure about advancing towards the person being guarded when a security guard is present because you are unsure of what the security person will do. 

A big one that I have noticed and corrected with a few of my clients is invading someones personal space. 

Anytime we met, they would stand a tad bit too close. One time at an event I saw one of them talking with another person and they were basically toe to toe with the other guy and that person was visibly trying to move away. Here's the thing, most people will not tell you things you don't see about yourself. Always maintain a good 18 inches or more even in close spaces when interacting with someone who is not your lover or your child under 3 years old.  Even in a loud space, stay in your space and let the other person lean in if they need to hear you better.

Lets talk about what TO DO to exude Power, Charisma and make a favorable impression

I'm going to divide this into 3 main Sub-headings for you.

Body posture and movements:

Keep a neutral, upright posture. Not too inflated, shoulders back, chest out , chin up and hands to the side. That alone will have most people automatically prioritize your presence in a room because it is attractive.

Best practice is to keep your hands to yourself and not make any hand gestures that show a weakness. Example, touching your face anywhere, touching your head or torso. Fig leaf position or hands behind your back or folded arms. None of that, neutrality is your best friend. Only hand gestures you make are to support the words you say. Firm handshake, not too firm definitely not too loose. Firm. Take up space when you stand, you know who takes up space? People who are unafraid, and that is attractive. Keep a steady eye contact, no death stares and normal blink rate, all of this is constantly measured by the other persons subconscious .


Tone of voice:

Lower your pitch as low as you can and add some variation to it. Low most of the time but vary it when you're expressing certain feelings, emotions or adding depth into a conversation.

If you are trying to establish expertise, talk fast. If you already have an established expertise and respect, talk slowly and firmly. When you talk fast about something you're passionate about, the persons brain interprets that "She is an expert on this" because they can't process all the info causing questions about the subject in turn causing them to see that you know more than them since they're asking you to explain it to them again. If you talk slowly when you're trying to establish your expertise, they will evaluate every word you say and question its authority. 

So practice, I repeat, PRACTICE speaking fast, no interruptions that can be avoided. No filler sounds like "ah", "umm" "err", that tells their brain that this person is not sure about what they're saying themselves how am I supposed to trust them

Volume, not too soft, that comes off as weak. Not too loud, thats aggressive. But just loud enough as if you're talking to someone across the table in a restaurant. Firmness, clarity and volume are very important. It adds weight to your voice.

Strategic pauses are powerful in speech. They give the speaker a moment to think and the listener a moment to absorb what has been said. It's like mic drop.


Finally, Touch 🪄 

 Now this is very touchy, you have be extremely careful of using the slight touch in communicating your message. Done well and it can work wonders but tread carefully. 

This begins with using the two handed handshake when you're trying to show extra respect while shaking someones hand. 

The power dynamic of touch is wonderful in its ways. If you pat someone on the shoulder while shaking their hand, make sure that the power is heavier on your end, don't do this to someone who is at a higher level than you.

Someone holding on to you for too long during a hug? Pat them three times on the back, that's a signal to let go

However, a gentle tap on the forearm while making a point is quite powerful in building rapport. Ideally while doing this, the person is standing or sitting next to you.

All in all, your Body language, touch and tone of voice and hyper powerful when it comes to communication. Try what you learnt here and tell me how it goes. Email me at [email protected]

If you want to go deeper, I suggest you read Tonya Reimans book called "The Power of Body Language"

It is Really good.

As always, you are enough, and you can achieve whatever it is you believe that can achieve.




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