Just think of the fact that everyone says you “eat with your eyes” first, and you’ll know what I mean. No one wants to bite into a slimy steak, even if that steak is actually one of the best prepared steak around.
But it applies to more than just food. Presentation can have a huge impact on your business!
Cindy Ashton explained to our attendees how appearances can make a world of difference in networking conversations, employee interactions, and in sales. And these appearances had nothing to do with fashion.
Cindy explained that the posture that you stand and walk with can drastically change how others perceive you and therefore the way they interact with you.
Changing your posture can help you come across confident and calm, even if you don’t feel that way.
Here are three of the areas of posture that Cindy gave us tips on:
The Pelvic Floor
No, I’m not talking about anything from Dirty Dancing. Cindy made that clear from her anatomical approach to the subject.
The pelvic floor is a part of your anatomy that most people don’t pay much attention to. We switch our weight back and forth and lean our hips one way or another without realizing that we’re changing how we hold our pelvic floor the whole time. And what most people don’t realize, is how drastically a change in the pelvic floor can influence the way you’re perceived.
There’s a couple big “Don’t”s that Cindy warned us away from with regard to pelvic floor posture:
Thrusting Hips - This often comes from an arching back/spine that places all the weight of the body on the back of the pelvic floor, and pushes the hips forward beyond their natural resting place. It puts excess strain on the low back, and leads to the “cowboy” type pose where the hips and belly are thrust forward beyond the head.
This negatively impacts how you’re perceived because it makes you seem overbearing, even if you aren’t. Regardless of how welcoming your face is, a forward leaning pelvic floor causes others to shrink away from you and can be the cause of lost sales, intimidated employees, and shrinking networking possibilities.
Uneven Weight - This often comes from uncomfortable shoes or spinal issues, but a constant shifting back and forth between standing legs refuses to let the bodyweight settle in a comfortable position. Don’t get me wrong, it’s normal to shift your weight back and forth between legs on occasion. But if you find that you’re constantly shifting back and forth every few seconds then you’re prone to uneven weight distribution.
This negatively impacts how you’re perceived because it gives you a wishy-washy appearance. Regardless of how confidently you talk or how excited you seem, a lack of stable presence and the continuous motion of uneven weight distribution affects the conversation and can make people uncomfortable following your lead or purchasing from you, because it gives the impression that you don’t seem confident in your own product.
So what do you do?
The overall goal with good pelvic floor posture is to relax and settle your weight right down the center of your body. Allowing your weight to evenly fall between your legs can help you appear confident without being intrusive to the space of others and causing them to shrink from you.
Everyone knows that your neck is part of your posture.
One of the most commonly known posture issues is “Forward Head-Posture” which is related to the neck. What most people don’t realize is that having good posture in your neck helps you to be perceived as successful. The great part about this, is that other business owners, potential clients, and employees all want to associate with successful individuals.
Here’s a couple “don’t”s when it comes to neck posture…
Forward Head-Posture - Forward head-posture is characterized by the head being too far forward and out of alignment with the spine. This causes the neck to bulge out forward and the spine to hunch up to compensate for the head being out of alignment. Common causes of Forward head-posture are bad posture at the computer and while reading.
This negatively impacts how others perceive you in two ways. Not only is it often associated with shy, nerdy, and socially-awkward individuals, it gives off the feeling that you’re trying too hard to be close to the other person and tends to drive people away.
Looking Down - Similar to forward head-posture but not the same, this is mostly related to where you’re keeping your eyes. If you’re consistently staring at the ground or your hands rather than making eye contact, the people you’re speaking with rarely get to see your eyes and it makes it difficult to get any sort of read on your perception of the situation.
This negatively impacts how you’re perceived because people tend to look down and away when they are anxious, nervous, or unconfident. It gives off the feeling that you can’t handle yourself, much less the pressure and expectations of working with anyone else - even if that isn’t true!
So what do you do?
Overall, you want to lift your head so that it settles on your neck in a natural and balanced way that requires very little muscular support. This helps you appear confident and promotes the kind of good posture people associate with successful people (the kinds of people everyone wants to associate with, whether in a sales or employment capacity).
They’re an obvious part of posture, but there are a number of misconceptions about what exactly is good posture when it comes to your shoulders.
Here’s the “don’t”s for shoulder posture…
Hunched Shoulders - Ok, this one is a bit obvious. Most everybody knows that hunched shoulders aren’t great for your posture, but here’s why it negatively impacts the way you’re perceived:
Hunching your shoulders requires muscular activation (I. E., tension). Not only does it tend to make you look shorter and less confident, but it causes you to tense up. And if you’re tense, the people you’re talking with can tell that you’re tense (since about 80% of our communication cues are non-verbal) and it gives the impression that you’re anxious about something. This can cause the people you’re interacting with to become anxious as well, and leads to rougher conversations.
Pinned Back Shoulders - Pulling your shoulders back until your shoulder blades are nearly touching is actually pretty common for people trying to look confident. This is the “military” pose, and what most people consider to actually be good posture, however it can cause difficulty breathing atop negatively impacting how you’re perceived.
Honesty is great, but there is such a thing as “oversharing” and being “too open” with people. Pinning your shoulders back gives the impression that you don’t just have nothing to hide, but that you’re going to share everything you know with others: whether they’ve asked for it or not. This kind of posture can give off the impression that you’re going to be a tough conversation, and overly assert your views. Even if that isn’t true.
So what do you do?
Relax! Let your shoulders hang gently in line with your ears, and you’ll find good shoulder posture. Having good shoulder posture helps to non-verbally say “I’m confident, but I’m not going to be overbearing with my knowledge.” Individuals who look like they know what they’re doing in this way tend to inspire confidence in their employees and garner a sense of respect from potential clients.
In all of these areas…
If you’re finding it difficult to apply any of this, it might be time to check in with a chiropractor. Posture is habitual, and bad habits can sometimes create misalignments that can’t be fixed just by sheer power of will. But a doctor can help correct your posture.
Overall, changing your posture can do wonders for sales, networking, and employee interaction.
Having good posture can also help you feel more confident, because our physical bodies influence our mental state. So not only are you appearing confidently calm, but you’re helping yourself remain confident and calm wherever you are since the physical actions we take impact our mental state.
Can't afford a ticket because 2020 hit you and your business too hard? Not to worry! We’ve had amazing donors come forward and have enabled us to give away full-ride scholarships to the livestream of Grow2021. If you’d like the strategies offered at the Grow Retreat but can’t afford a ticket, fill out your scholarship application here!
About the Author:
Susannah Scheller has been part of the workforce since childhood filling a verity of part-time jobs until she found the world of Social Media, content creation and marketing strategy execution in 2015 and fell in love. Susannah grew up surrounded by successful entrepreneurs and dedicated herself to learning from Stephanie by watching and listening and was rewarded by becoming one of the first permanent hires for Grow Disrupt in 2016 to work directly under Stephanie's coaching & training. Susannah is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Music in Fort Worth, Texas while managing the Social Media & content creation and distribution for Grow Disrupt. Beyond her degree and tutelage under Stephanie, Susannah regularly educates herself with business blogs, books, and by using her sparse moments of free time while running the AV for Grow Disrupt events to learn from the speakers!