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This article was updated on October 24, 2021

Body language and non-verbal communication can have a major impact on your professional life, as well as creating or breaking a deal, a business relationship, and even your financial success. “In business, one of the most important things is the impression you make on people,” says Eliot Hoppe, author and body language expert.

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Body language includes body movements, facial expressions and gestures, as well as tone of voice. Take note of Hoppe’s tips to optimize your probability of success:

1) Posture: People make assumptions about others in the first four seconds, says Hoppe. “In business you have to remember that when you walk into a room, people have already made a decision about you before you sit down.”

To ensure that you go to a business meeting with equals, you must have good posture. “Stand up straight and have a brisk walk, as you want to show your desire to be there and your confidence in yourself,” says Hoppe.

2) Handshake: Physical contact is an essential part of body language, so doing it wrong could lead to rejection, while doing it right can be the first step to a successful business transaction.

“In most parts of the world, a business handshake is the norm and from there you can get an idea of whether the person is dominant and aggressive or passive,” says Hoppe.

An important caveat: Watch the “power play.” Observations like weak or firm grips can be easy. But you should also check when greeting someone if the other person tries to move the grip so that their hand is up. “This is a power game,” says Hoppe. Although most of these reactions are unconscious, sometimes they are a sign of what the person wants from you.

You should also observe what the free hand is doing during the salute. Does the other person use the second hand to squeeze your hand or to press the other arm? The higher the free hand is, the greater the power play according to Hoppe.

George Bush and Tony Blair were a classic case of a power play touch. “Who put their hand up or walked into a room first was always an issue,” says Hoppe.

Another tip: Don’t hold a drink in the hand you use to greet people. “All the other person will feel is a cold, wet hand,” says Hoppe. “And you don’t want to give that impression.”

3) Touching your face: Never touch your face. This shows a lack of trust and dishonesty, while touching your lips can be a sign of a lack of agreement. “When you see someone touch their face, you instantly distrust them,” says Hoppe.

4) Tone of voice: Tone of voice plays a very important role in communication. “If you are trying to convince someone of something pay attention to your tone of voice. If you are making a statement or giving an order, your voice should reduce its pitch at the end of each sentence. So if you are trying to convince someone, make sure you do it. “

Also be careful: A person who is trying to disappoint someone tends to raise his voice at the end of each sentence.

5) Clothing: Red and yellow are colors of power. Be careful when wearing them as they can show confidence or make you look arrogant in front of people.

6) Appear vulnerable: Look at your colleagues’ items such as pens and glasses, do they have chewed edges? How do they hold their books or portfolios? These behaviors indicate how a person conducts negotiations, as well as their business confidence.

“When we feel vulnerable we protect our neck area. When someone feels vulnerable they try to protect themselves (holding books or papers in front of their chest or touching their neck), which is a technique to show self-confidence, ”says Hoope.

7) Standing pose: If you want to make the best face-to-face impression with someone, take a small step to the left so that your right eye goes directly to the colleague’s right eye.