I just read a fascinating article written by Raquel Laneri from Forbes.com. Raquel provides excellent insight and advice about common body language mistakes in classroom, social, and business settings. While her article is aimed at professional businesswomen, there are some great tidbits in there for men as well.
I encourage you to read Raquel's full article, Body Language Decoded, and then view the corresponding pictures of Seven Common Body Language Mistakes. Below is a sneak preview of some of the things you will learn:
-- Be careful about how and when you tilt your head.
--Avoid excessive smiling; instead make your facial expressions congruent with what you are saying.
--Don't fold your arms in front of you.
--Never play with or tug at your hair, jewelry, or clothes.
How can you become aware of some of these habits and learn to suppress them? First, ask a trusted friend, colleague, mentor, or business partner to provide some honest feedback about your non-verbal body language. Once they help you to identify the undesirable gestures, try to replace a bad habit (e.g., tugging at jewelry) with something that might not be so noticeable (e.g., wiggling your toes). Another idea is to give a speech in front of a videocamera. Watch the video without the sound on in order to focus on your non-verbal gestures. Finally, watch yourself in a mirror while you speak to someone on the telephone. This allows you the opportunity to become self-aware of body language in a more private setting.