Entertainment and media entrepreneur Jason Nissen explains why body language is an often-forgotten but crucial aspect of communication in business
Imagine yourself in this scenario: you have just settled down in a meeting at work, and someone has begun to give a presentation. At the start they have your full attention, but you soon find your thoughts drifting elsewhere, and you have trouble remaining focused. Looking around the room, it is clear that the feeling is mutual. Someone is checking their email, another is starting off into space – they fidget, pick at their clothes, fiddle with their pens – these are all signs of an audience that has failed to be captivated.
The next time you find yourself in a similar situation, try to observe the speaker’s actions and movements. Is their posture slouched, or are their hands in their pockets? Are their arms stiff at their sides, maybe clenched into fists? Have they hunched themselves forward, shoulders rounded and staring down at their paper rather than making eye contact with those around them? In this scenario, both the audience and the speaker have illustrated the power body language can have in communication. The audience is losing focus due to the presenter’s disinterest and insecurity, making it difficult to engage, but luckily a quick adjustment can quickly save the situation. With a solid understanding of nonverbal communication, the presenter could pick up on the cues their audience is giving them and adjust their movements and posture, regaining attention as a result.
According to Jason Nissen, an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience building companies, an understanding of body language has been vital to his success as a business leader. Nissen has worked at an international level marketing and organizing events across a number of industries including the Super Bowl, Coachella and Hamilton on Broadway.
An executive with his finger on the pulse of the entertainment world, Nissen has become known as a leader within the industry who can build teams and drive results. Below, we explore further with him what body language is and how you can improve yours for more impactful communication.