“When thoughts are hidden, reading body language can reveal them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)
‘While I was watching him on the Webinar, I kept sensing that he was keeping secrets from us. I didn’t know it, but it was his body language that was signaling me.’ That’s what a person said when talking with members in his group after they’d exited a web conference.
With more people meeting via Webinars, it’s more imperative that you’re able to read body language. Doing so allows you to uncover secrets that people attempt to conceal. And uncovering those secrets will lead you to more successful outcomes.
The following are insights about how you can read the body language and nonverbal cues of those you interact with on Webinars.
There are multiple ways to gather information and control someone through mirroring during a web conference.
- Making the same gestures – Most people are aware that mimicking someone’s body language gestures will cause them to psychologically bond with you. Once they do, stop imitating them and initiate your actions. If they begin to mimic you, you’ll be subliminally controlling them for as long as they replicate your effects.
- Repeating their last few words – Another way to bond with someone is to repeat the last few words of their statement or question. On a Webinar, if someone said, ‘this is the right thing to do,’ you might say, ‘the right thing to do.’ The way you make that comment can sound like a question or statement. Thus, depending on how you wish to position yourself and the other person, you should be aware of your tonality when speaking.
The more someone senses you’re like them, the more they’ll like you. That’s due to the neurological firing that occurs in someone’s mind when they sense others like themselves. That makes them want to bond with like-minded people. For them, that process emits a sense of security.
People love to feel important. And you can sense their significant degree of appreciation when they’re on a Webinar. Also, you can gain insight into their personality, plans, and how they see themselves amongst others in the group.
To gather that insight, observe how they respond or act when they or others are speaking. As an example, note when someone surprises them by asking a question or making a statement (i.e., widened eyes and mouth agape). You can also sense when they receive unexpected agreement (i.e., broad smile). These and other displays will serve as confirmation about their expressions and how they’re accepting that information.
Short or small laughter versus full laughter when speaking – Laughing while speaking is a form of tension release or gaiety. It’s like a safety valve releasing stress from someone’s body or endorphins released in their brain, which makes us feel better. When someone laughs when they’re speaking, take note of it. Then, observe how they act afterward.
If the laughter was due to something funny, you could discount that it is due to stress. But, if it occurred in short bursts and followed by stammering, you can assume the person is sensing some tension. And the subject discussed will most likely be the source of the stress.
Shoulder shrugging occurs for multiple reasons. The act can occur due to a feeling of insecurity when questioned. It can also stem from the need to enhance one’s response (e.g., what else do you want me to do – while shrugging shoulder(s)).
Just be aware that when you see this action, the person emitting it is stating that he is out of his state of comfort. If you sense it’s due to what he’s said to be inaccurate, challenge him or observe more actions to gain greater insight into why he may be making the statements he’s making. You’ll obtain continuous information about that individual. And that insight will allow you to deal with that person more effectively.
- Single shrug – A single shrug is a milder form of communication than a double shrug. But a single shrug combined with a robust vocal signal (e.g., I said yes, stated forcibly), can be a more meaningful signal than a double shrug. So, be aware of the shoulder shrug and note the strength of that signal when accompanied by vocal cues.
- Double shrug – As detailed a moment ago, a double shrug in most cases is a more substantial commitment to what’s said. But as stated, a double shrug can be surpassed by a single one when a strong vocal signal accompanies the latter. So, when assessing which one is conveying more insightful information about the person emitting the signal, note if a verbal cue accompanies the movement. That will be the deciding factor that will answer the question of which one is more prominent.
Stroking one’s hair can be a sign of stress or admiration. To discern what the signal might indicate, note when it occurs. If the action happens when someone praises the speaker, and she passes her fingers through her hair, she’s displaying recognition and acceptance of the appreciation. If it occurs when someone has scuffed at something she said, it may be a sign that she’s comforting herself. Note what happens with that action and other gestures to identify why it’s occurring. And take note of any alterations that may arise in her position after that. Changes that occur will inform you of the impact the rebuttal had on her.
- Pace – Everyone speaks at a pace that’s comfortable for them. Thus, when observing the speed at which someone talks on a web conference, take note when they alter their speed. There will be a reason for them doing that. And that will be due to what’s occurring in their conversation.
- Words – A speaker’s words gives you insight into his thoughts. Thus, it behooves you to listen to the choice of words used to represent someone’s thoughts and the way they arrange their ideas. As an example, someone can say, I disagree with you. Or, they can say, I have another or different perspective. In the first case, the person would be making a more potent declaration about their feelings. That could also leave that individual in a position to defend himself. Be mindful of the words you use on webinars and note those of others. Listen to the unspoken words of a speaker too. That will also give you insight into what they’re thinking.
If you want greater insight into someone’s actions on Webinars, or you want to project a more substantial image, you must know how to read and cast body language gestures. Doing so will allow you to validate the actions of others. It will also allow you to create a more robust perception of yourself.
So, commit to becoming more attuned to the secrets that others emit on web conferences. You’ll have a more meaningful understanding of what they’re saying and what they’re withholding. You can use that insight to enhance your life and opportunities. And everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
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