Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 13 2014

5 Body Language Mistakes You Should Never Make

By David McMillin

The meetings industry is all about establishing face-to-face relationships. However, talking with someone live and in-person does not automatically translate to a more powerful connection. A recent CareerBuilder survey revealed some of the biggest communication mistakes that interview candidates are making without even saying a word.

1) Failure to make eye contact.

While gazing directly into someone’s eyes can feel a bit awkward, eye contact is an essential ingredient in establishing a sense of trust. You don’t have to lock eyes throughout the entire conversation, but remember to consistently demonstrate that you’re focused and attentive.

2) Failure to smile.

Happiness is contagious. Unfortunately, so is despair. When one person looks disinterested and negative, the conversation can go south very quickly. Think of an interview the same way you approach meeting with a friend. Smile. Laugh. Have fun.

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3) Bad posture.

Remember when your mother told you to sit up straight? That advice rings true well into adulthood. Slouching will just make you look and feel smaller.

4) Fidgeting too much in one’s seat.

Sitting up straight isn’t the only guideline to follow. Sitting still is equally important when it comes to looking relaxed and confident.

SEE ALSO: 7 Factors That Will Impact Your Next Interview

5) Playing with something on the table.

Again, it’s another lesson from your formative years: keep your hands to yourself. Hiring managers don’t want your hands to do all the talking, either. Using too many hand gestures ranked as another one of the biggest communicate mistakes.

While these habits should be avoided in the interview room, it’s safe to say that you should keep them out of all face-to-face conversations. Whether you’re chatting with your colleagues, meeting with your boss or discussing contract language with a business partner, body language speaks volumes about your attitude.

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