Everything You Never Knew About Body Language

Body language is something that translates to all aspects of life. Your mother probably told you to stand up straight when you were younger, but she wasn’t telling you that just to be annoying. Your posture affects how people perceive you. An individual with good posture sends signals of confidence and positive energy, whereas someone who is slumped over may appear unsure of themselves and negative.

The handy infographic below takes a look at some interesting facts about body language. Did you know that it only takes about 7 seconds to make a judgement about someone when meeting them? That’s pretty quick – often times, first impressions happen before you can even open your mouth. It is important to take note of your body language and amend it if necessary. That’s not to say you should be walking around perfectly upright like a board all day – take a look at what the graphic has to say about different body language that is appropriate for different situations. While it focuses on specific ‘business’ scenarios, nearly all of them are applicable to both life in general, and to teachers in the classroom.

All About Body Language

Humans can produce:

  • Over 7,000 signs
  • Over 5,000 distinct hand gestures
  • Over 250,000 facial expressions
  • Over 1,000 different postures
  • 82% of our information from the world around us comes to us visually
  • 11% is aural
  • 7% is from our other senses
  • 80% of what people remember is from a combination of visual and oral
  • Only about 10% of oral only information is retained
  • Only about 20% of visual only information is retained

There are six universal visual signs:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Surprise
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Fear

What Is Good Body Language For A Particular Scenario?

Meeting Someone New

Mirror their behavior, be close but not too close, be open to your new friend, don’t back away when they are speaking


Making A Presentation

Move towards your audience when talking about important points, focus on your audience, don’t look at the computer screen


Encourage Someone To Speak Up

Move towards them, align yourself physically, nod in support of what they say, smile and be positive when they speak


Take Charge Of A Group

Keep your head held high and shoulders back, don’t slump, lean forward when you talk, lean back when you want others to talk


Socialize Professionally

Pay attention, make eye contact, smile and nod frequently, no flirting, no personal grooming, don’t interrupt, find areas of common interest


Disagree Without Making Enemies

Raise your eyebrows slightly to show you’re receptive, smile and nod frequently, touch the persona appropriately in a non-threatening way


Nail An Interview

Lean in when you are speaking, mirror them physically, stay open with your body language so that you don’t seem defensive


Deal With An Angry Colleague

Spread your arms out about a foot from your body, keep your palms facing down, reflect emotions


Ask For Something You Want

Mirror their behavior, then initiate new body language, sit or stand very still, except to nod, stay facing the person you’re asking for something, and focus on them