This is part of a series of ‘What Makes A Great Executive Assistant’ and making references to specific sections in the Certified Executive Assistance Professional CEAP Body Of Knowledge BoK.

Executive Assistants are always under spot light. They accompany their executives in their meetings, travels or PR appearances. They often arrange for public speeches, or take the stand to deliver a tough message of the employees of their companies or the media. How they talk, present and communicate is of a paramount importance. They tend to write excellent speeches, but very often they tend to forget about the How, rather than the What! When it comes to talking in public or in meetings, it is how you say is more important than what you say, and here comes the importance of body language.character-min

“Body language dictates much of what we are feel- ing inside. Understanding effective body language is essential for build- ing relationships throughout the organization. The position of our arms and the expression on our faces both tell what we are really feeling in- side. Trying to hide it makes it even worse. The best deterrent to negative body language is to know that body language is a large factor in how you communicate information. Body language comprises almost 55% of what we are saying in our communication. We cannot hide it. We have to make an effort to address our feelings and emotions before we engage a person in conversation. Not addressing it may send the wrong message to the recipient of your message. Negative body language comes in many forms. Some of the common body language that sends the wrong message are:

    • Looking over your shoulder or averting their
    • Keeping distance
    • Folding arms tightly gaze
    • Leaning or turning away
    • Using only fleeting eye contact
    • Tapping foot or drumming fingers
    • Tightening lips
    • Clenching hands
    • Looking at the floor
    • Fiddling with collar

Half the battle of addressing negative body language is awareness. The other half is being conscience of it when you are doing it. Before engaging with someone, try to check your emotions. Are you nervous or upset? Are you frustrated or bitter about something? Addressing it a head of time will help you be better prepared. In order to demonstrate positive body language, do the opposite of the list of negative one. That’s it.”

Your audience tends to judge how you look, how you confident you are and whether such confidence is in sync between what you say and how you say. Therefore, executive assistants invest heavily on improving their body language skills. Before you head to your next meeting, rehearse the talk in front of a mirror or video record your talk and subsequently watch yourself to see where improvements can be made.

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