Why is understanding body language important and how can you use body language to your advantage?
People often say that it's not what you say but how you say it. Studies into communication and body language have shown that during any face-to-face conversation only 7% of the message is attributed to the spoken word. Approximately 38% is attributed to the tone of voice used by the speaker and the other 55% is down to body language; how you hold yourself, the way you gesticulate and whether you maintain eye contact.
The importance of body language
This 55/38/7 rule is perhaps a little simplistic - read Is nonverbal communication a numbers game? for a better understanding the role body language plays in your communication with others.
Whichever way you look at it though, body language and nonverbal cues are crucial to getting your message across at an interview, appearing confident to the opposite sex and being able to hold your own at a dinner party.
Below we highligh the important of body language by using a TED Talk video by Amy Cuddy.