ELLAvate your Look: Body Language is more than an Accessory
The most incredible outfit can be ELLAvated to new heights without spending a dime.
Your body language – how you carry yourself – not only impacts how a dress or suit hangs on your frame but also communicates an immediate impression. First impressions take only a moment to make and far longer to undo. Imagine the difference if you saw this same picture, with the model, standing with her shoulders slouched. We turned to our friends, Rebecca Klein Scott and Keith Scott, of TALLsmall Productions for advice on boosting your body language.
The husband and wife team work with many executives on crafting their verbal and non-verbal messaging. Here are their top three tips.
Uncross your arms and roll your shoulders back: Nothing creates an impression of being defensive faster than standing with your arms crossed, across your chest. It builds a physical barrier and sends a message to not approach. Women often tell us that this is their go-to comfort position or that they do it when feeling a chill. With body language, it’s not about what you intend to convey. Perception is reality.
We have seen men and women take on this position, without being aware that they are doing it. One time, when we asked a woman, standing in front of a group of participants at one of our workshops, to uncross her arms, her immediate response was to cross one leg tightly around the other. Before you walk into a room, roll your shoulders back and make sure you’re standing up straight. You’ll instantly achieve a more flattering silhouette.
Maintaining an open stance is welcoming, invites conversation and adds a sense of calm in challenging conversations. It helps to keep the dialogue going without one person shutting down.
Keep eye contact: Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with someone who is about to answer a question and then looks off into the distance? It’s common to see someone look off to one side or another, as if the answer is dangling in the air. It creates a sense of doubt and can change the tone of a conversation. We appear most confident when making eye contact.
Avoid Self Soothing: When we are feeling hesitant or unsure, it’s common to self soothe. This can manifest in many ways, such as rubbing an arm or the chin, twirling hair, or even reaching into a suit jacket and rubbing a collar bone. This is a movement that often happens without thinking about it.
And, remember, your body language communicates before the words come out. The moment you leave your home, you are giving the world a perception of you. Make it your best one.
Click here to learn how to ELLAvate your look with makeup tips from our partner Owen Michael O’Donnell. We often work with Owen when getting models ready for photo shoots and the runway.