Are You Using the Right Body Language When You’re Networking?

We all know the importance of body language, but how often do you think about analyzing and correcting it in your personal and professional photos? From Facebook profile photos to LinkedIn head shots, it’s the little details that make the difference between portraying confidence or shyness. So how can you make sure you make the right adjustments? You could start by asking a professional.

Vanessa Van Edwards is a behavioral investigator and author whose work has appeared in The Huffington Post, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN. Needless to say, she knows a thing or two about body language! We caught up with her to ask her for a few quick tips to make your professional and social media images as effective as possible. Here’s what she had to say:

Before and After Networking

Before & After: Networking Body Language

There are three body language tips you can immediately implement to improve your body language. First, leave your torso unblocked—uncross arms and put down purses or cell phones. Second, look level. When you tilt your head back and look down your nose at those around you, it sends off a very negative first impression. Lastly, stand equal and wide. Firmly planting your feet to be balanced and strong not only looks more confident, but also makes you feel more confident.

Before and After Social Media Image

Before & After: Personal Social Media Headshot

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make in their social media profiles is they have the “contempt” facial expression. This one-sided mouth raise or smirk. This is a universal facial expression for contempt or disdain — it is not real happiness! Be sure to give people a full even smile in your pictures.

For more body language tips, be sure to check out Vanessa’s course on CreativeLive.



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Topher Kelly is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor at CreativeLive. Follow Topher on Twitter@Topher_LIVE.