1 — Stand tall when you walk into a room. 55% of what we communicate comes from our body language. People argue over the exact percentage — the truth is body language has a huge impact. As you enter a room, to make your impact, breathe in through your nose, allow your stomach to fill up and your chest and face to naturally lift. Take that sensation into the meeting as you greet people.
2 — Make eye contact. The eyes are the windows of the soul. Keep them bright, keep them alive by breathing and keep them up at eye level. Give eye contact freely, for a second longer than you normally would.
3 — Shake the hand. By far the most controversial exercise I do is what I call “the servant leader handshake”. Firmly, (nobody likes a wet fish) give your hand to the recipient, turning your palm up towards the recipient, not down, over them. It gives them your power and invites them into your space. It also says “I am here to serve, I am comfortable”. Try it out — it will have a greater psychological impact on you than them.
4 — Speak with Intimate projection. Projection is not being loud, it is being supported. Actors train in it and so should everyone. Breathe in through your nose before you speak, imagine your mouth is in your belly button (it works) and speak a little bit louder than normal, imaging the words are forming on your lips, not in your throat. See the words going slightly beyond the recipient and you will be projecting.
5 — Ask a question. So often we panic and feel we have to get all the information out. That is not how real life and relationships work. People love to interact. 38% of your communication comes from how you say what you say, so ask a question well and people will believe you care.
6 — Sit down with good posture. The chair is deceitful — it makes us over-relaxed and under-prepared. Plant both feet on the floor and lean in slightly to the table or the recipient. Sit up so you can breathe from your stomach. This is hard to do all the time in a long meeting, so let it be your anchor that you keep returning to.
7- Smile again. Show the person you met seven seconds/one minute ago that you still care and you want to listen. Show them you are a person with warmth — let this smile be the bridge that carries you through to the rest of the meeting.