I’m finishing out the year with a back-to-basics 5-post review of the fundamentals of body language.  In this era of #metoo, it’s incumbent upon all of us to be aware of our body language — what we’re projecting, what other people are receiving — our intention, in short.  If you were thinking of making 2018 the year you finally got conscious of your unconscious behavior, now is the time to review what’s going on and what’s at stake.  Enjoy!

To sum up this review of the basics of body language, here’s a final checklist of what we’ve discussed.

The Face-to-Face Communications Checklist:  How to Make a Great First Impression


Put down the mobile phone and stand up straight

Pull your shoulders back, tuck your stomach and pelvis in

Lift your head, keeping your chin level

Lead with your heart

The Face


Open your eyes; don’t narrow them

Raise your eyebrows

Nod affirmatively

The Hands

Keep your hands open, not closed in front of your stomach

Give a firm but not crushing handshake

Don’t groom your face or hair

The Voice

Take a deep belly breath before you speak

Speak affirmatively

Don’t ask questions unless you want to ask a question – no uptick

Don’t swallow your voice

Don’t speak from the back of your throat or from your nose


Move toward people, but don’t get too close – eighteen inches in the West, eight inches in the East, is close enough. 

Keep your torso still, but relaxed

Focus on your solar plexus


Here’s to an intentional, conscious, clearly communicating you in 2018!



  1. Nick, This is a practical, concise and comprehensive list. As the author of How To Work a Room and Face To Face; Reclaim the Personal Touch, I find your list to be a must-read, must do that encapsulates the best body language and behaviors.

    1. Susan — thanks for the kind words, coming from an expert! There is of course lots more to body language than this checklist, something I explore in my books and blog, but people do like the quick summaries.

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