Stand Up Straight! Good Posture = Strong Communication

One of the biggest questions I hear as a nonverbal communications consultant is “How do I get people to listen to me?” Or one of the biggest complaints I hear is, “My team has a short attention span. They stop listening before I’m finished.” There is a solution no one thinks about- better posture!

I don’t advise clients to change their content, or to speak louder, or to ban devices in meetings. I tell them to stand up straight! They are often surprised by this because most people do stand up pretty straight. However, there is a magic moment when the sternum lifts just slightly which makes all the difference. Take a look:

When we become frustrated by the inattention of our team or we feel we are not having the impact we desire, our natural inclination is to lean over a little bit. We often add pressure to our points with our head or our arm gestures to add emphasis to words we really want our employees to hear! Instead of giving us more power or prominence, leaning in and adding pressure can undermine our power. We are perceived as desperate or childish/temper tantrum/attention seeking.

Standing up tall creates confidence, power, and a “take charge” aura which will increase the attention and cooperation you receive. Use it while sitting down too. Try it and see how you feel. If you are in sales, swap the “lean in” for the “sit straight” and see if it makes a difference in your closing rate.

Share this tip with new managers too. They will thank you for it.