Body language is the most effective way to communicate.  75 to 80 percent of communication is expressed through body language.  By observing how people interact with others through their body language, you can learn a lot.  Are they smiling? Do they have downcast eyes and slumped shoulders?  Giving a blank stare as you speak? We all use these queues when dealing with others to determine how our message is being received.

Body language is especially important in the business environment.  A weak handshake or avoiding eye contact upon meeting a client or vendor can convey untrustworthiness or disinterest.  As body language varies from culture to culture, it is best to study cultural differences before you meet a person to avoid offending them inadvertently.  Observing body language can help you to tailor your message or change tactics if something is not working.

Your body language can be used to change perception or the mood of yourself and others, either for better or for worse. The best (in my opinion) and most effective form of body language is a smile, with a smile you can open doors and lighten moods with little to no effort. On the opposite end of the spectrum, people have a certain image of themselves and will fight to cling to it. Use this information to avoid making people dislike you by attacking their self-image.

“People will remember not what you said but how you made them feel.”  Maya Angelou