Body language coach?

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notmyhand
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Body language coach?

Post by notmyhand » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:59 am

I've found myself in a position at work that has more sales than I am comfortable with. I am generally an introverted quiet person and I do not have problems managing below me but am having trouble connecting with possible clients. I've taken sales classes before so once I connect I think I'm okay but I'm just very forgettable and can't keep a conversation going for very long. I am considering finding a coach to help me learn not to be so soft spoken and to be more outgoing and charismatic. I know I do odd things like not know what to do with my arms when speaking to someone above me and all of these small body language things need fixed. But how does someone go about finding such a person? I don't just want to take an online course or read a book because I need feedback. Has anyone used the services of such a person? Was it helpful? Do you mind sharing what it cost? Located near Pittsburgh, PA in case anyone has direct suggestions. Thanks!
Last edited by notmyhand on Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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camillus
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by camillus » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:23 pm

Just a thought: https://www.toastmasters.org/Find-a-Clu ... burgh-club

Another thought is to just practice. Make conversation with everyone all the time - at the bank, grocery store, your neighbors, etc. I think you will find that you are getting better at it. You'll eventually come up with "scripts" - lines of small talk - that help you get a conversation going.

rjbraun
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by rjbraun » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:21 pm

Consider taking an improv class. I have taken them in the past, though I am not familiar with the program shown below.

http://steelcityimprov.com/classes/

Caduceus
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Caduceus » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:45 pm

I don't think these things can be taught, but you can practice. I interacted with a lot of introverted/awkward/geeky folks in graduate school and I've come to the conclusion that you can't suddenly become an interesting conversationalist if that's not who you are. You'll become an interesting person to talk to if you actually do read broadly, have different passions, etc.

It's important to learn to ask good questions. You can see the difference with people if you start asking the right questions. They can't stop talking about certain things. You won't have a problem thinking of things to say. They will be doing all the talking and you will end up wishing they'd stop. 8-)

I think if you think back to the best conversations with strangers you've had, it's not that they said interesting things so much but they were genuinely interested in getting to know you/your perspective on something.

Hulu
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Hulu » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:00 pm

Kudus to you for working on it. Some thoughts:

1.). Meditation relieves social anxiety with many other perks

2.). Affirmation

3.). Toastmasters as someone said

4.). Watch others that are good and copy them

5.). Expand your search to online coaches (I recommend Leslie Hershberger)

6.). Go out. A lot. And have friends give you feedback.

7.). YouTube

mouses
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by mouses » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:26 pm

Or, find another job or ask about getting your job responsibilities changed. Having to act extroverted is a misery for introverts. I don't think its really possible to get around that.

Kennedy
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Kennedy » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:01 pm

I always thought there should be someone you can hire that will evaluate a person and tell them stuff that no one else would (bad breath, eat/chew weird, walk weird). Even one of these could hold someone back on their career and relationships, and it just takes one person to have the courage to pull them aside and say, "Hey, just wanted to point out that the way you chew your food is really distracting," in a kind way, of course...

Shallowpockets
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Shallowpockets » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:18 pm

>>>>>YouTube>>>>>>

Lots there.

retiredjg
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by retiredjg » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:25 pm

Find your own strengths and build on them.

Trying to do your job like someone else is unlikely to work. This is particularly true when crossing gender boundaries. A woman trying to accomplish something like a man does it can be a disaster. The opposite is true as well.

I'm not saying a coach would not be helpful. But if the coach wants you to try to be someone you are not, it is unlikely to work. A coach should build on what you already have, give you some insight into what current traits are counter-productive, and help you find new ways to be yourself in a more productive way.

Some people are natural salespeople. Apparently you are not. Consider that many customers really do not like salespeople. These could be your target audience. You may make fewer sales, but you may successfully sell to people that others cannot.

Good luck!

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Snert
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Snert » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:43 pm

I second (third?) the Toastmaster's idea. Toastmasters is a GREAT way to get comfortable talking with others. And you'll probably make some new friends along the way!
Never give up, never surrender!

JHU ALmuni
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by JHU ALmuni » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:33 pm

Just following the thread. Interested in hearing more answers :)

five2one
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by five2one » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:42 pm

mouses wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:26 pm
Or, find another job or ask about getting your job responsibilities changed. Having to act extroverted is a misery for introverts. I don't think its really possible to get around that.
WRONG!

I used to be an introvert. Not a deliberate decision but it didn't hurt me professionally so I never had to learn.
I now have no problem talking to random folks as I have learned that nobody really cares.
I can now turn it on/off at will.

The sad part is most kids are naturally extroverts similar to newborns knowing how to naturally swim.
Through conditioning these interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, etc. are shut down.

There are plenty of books that talk about all this but the basic summary is practice makes perfect.
Practice when it doesn't matter so you are ready when it does.

A side benefit? Many career opportunities are opening through connections built through networking.
Nobody wants to hug a catcus.

brandy
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by brandy » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:22 pm

I am considering finding a coach to help me learn not to be so soft spoken and to be more outgoing and charismatic. I know I do odd things like not know what to do with my arms when speaking to someone above me and all of these small body language things need fixed.

I always thought there should be someone you can hire that will evaluate a person and tell them stuff that no one else would (bad breath, eat/chew weird, walk weird). Even one of these could hold someone back on their career and relationships, and it just takes one person to have the courage to pull them aside and say, "Hey, just wanted to point out that the way you chew your food is really distracting," in a kind way, of course...

Consider etiquette/manners lessons/classes, self esteem, leadership, charm school
samples below--google for others, maybe. Best wishes. Wish I had known of these years ago...

http://www.theetiquettenetwork.com/contact-page/
para 2, ABOUT US page

http://www.etiquetteschoolofcentralpa.com/

http://mothermayimanners.com/about/

https://www.amanet.org/training/seminar ... ZsEALw_wcB

mouses
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by mouses » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:27 pm

five2one wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:42 pm
mouses wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:26 pm
Or, find another job or ask about getting your job responsibilities changed. Having to act extroverted is a misery for introverts. I don't think its really possible to get around that.
WRONG!

I used to be an introvert. Not a deliberate decision but it didn't hurt me professionally so I never had to learn.
I now have no problem talking to random folks as I have learned that nobody really cares.
I can now turn it on/off at will.

The sad part is most kids are naturally extroverts similar to newborns knowing how to naturally swim.
Through conditioning these interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, etc. are shut down.

There are plenty of books that talk about all this but the basic summary is practice makes perfect.
Practice when it doesn't matter so you are ready when it does.

A side benefit? Many career opportunities are opening through connections built through networking.
Nobody wants to hug a catcus.
There's a lot more to introversion than chatting up or not random people.

sreynard
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by sreynard » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:52 pm

As others have said Toastmasters would probably be a good choice. Lots of positive feedback in a low stress environment.

A business etiquette class would cover the types of topics you are interested in. A random search on the internet gave:
Topics include: Handshakes, greetings and introductions - remembering names - making a powerful first impression - business card protocol - body language and nonverbal communications - how to make an entrance and work the room – effective meeting protocol - the art of small talk - master your mingling - appropriate attire and grooming - techno-etiquette.
What is sad is that such skills aren't better taught in high school. Some fairly basic life skills.

sreynard
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by sreynard » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:13 pm

mouses wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:27 pm
five2one wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:42 pm
mouses wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:26 pm
Or, find another job or ask about getting your job responsibilities changed. Having to act extroverted is a misery for introverts. I don't think its really possible to get around that.
WRONG!

I used to be an introvert. Not a deliberate decision but it didn't hurt me professionally so I never had to learn.
I now have no problem talking to random folks as I have learned that nobody really cares.
I can now turn it on/off at will.

The sad part is most kids are naturally extroverts similar to newborns knowing how to naturally swim.
Through conditioning these interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, etc. are shut down.

There are plenty of books that talk about all this but the basic summary is practice makes perfect.
Practice when it doesn't matter so you are ready when it does.

A side benefit? Many career opportunities are opening through connections built through networking.
Nobody wants to hug a catcus.
There's a lot more to introversion than chatting up or not random people.
True, but there are a series of skills people can learn to allow them to function in public regardless of their introversion.

I've never been an extrovert, so I have no idea how they think, but the way I see it, a person can either be scared and never learn the skills, or be scared, but learn the skills anyway. In other words, learn to fake it. It's just acting....

When I was in high school speech class, I used to almost pass out every time I had to speak in public. Literally, my vision would fade to white and I wouldn't be able to see the audience. When I signed up for an elective public speaking class in college it was a lot better, though the teacher would literally hand out paper bags so some of us wouldn't hyperventilate! Breath control is just another of those necessary skills. I'm never going to really love it, but I can fake it when I need to.

Disagree a little bit. Practice makes permanent, not perfect. First they need to learn the skills, then they need to practice them. Or as one of my professors used to say, "internalize them."

Cruise
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Cruise » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:53 am

OP: Can you ask your boss or HR department for help with locating a coach? Can your boss coach you?

How secure is your job if you are ill-suited for it? CN you revert back to another position?

I’d echo the previous suggestions about learning how to get people to talk. I use this daily because I really don’t enjoy talking about myself. That is typical for introverts.

Not sure how old you are, but with dedicated practice, you can be more effective as a conversationalist and salesperson.

Good luck.

blueman457
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by blueman457 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:34 am

rjbraun wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:21 pm
Consider taking an improv class. I have taken them in the past, though I am not familiar with the program shown below.

http://steelcityimprov.com/classes/
+1 someone I know who’s is an introvert thought improv classes helped him present better and think on the fly.

surveyor
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by surveyor » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:55 am

Caduceus wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:45 pm
It's important to learn to ask good questions. You can see the difference with people if you start asking the right questions. They can't stop talking about certain things. You won't have a problem thinking of things to say. They will be doing all the talking and you will end up wishing they'd stop. 8-)
Good advice here. To help facilitate it you should know as much as possible about the person going in to the interaction. Two areas I use often when a conversation slows down are 1)Did you grow up around here? Followed by, How was that?. 2) If you know they have kids, share an anecdote about your kids to break the ice and then ask if they have kids. Practically everyone likes talking about their kids. My goal is to talk less and listen more. Share something you have in common with their story and then move towards another question.

One problem I have is that I don't memorize well. I have to keep notes after meeting prospective clients.

veindoc
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by veindoc » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:25 am

I would look to enroll in a public speaking class at a community college. Look for one where you are videotaped. It’s like when you hear your recorded voice for the first time. It’s very enlightening. I had the opportunity to watch serial videos of me and I saw myself improve over time. Don’t get discouraged when you see yourself on video for the first time. My first ones were downright cringeworthy. Ultimately, I learned to contain the hand flapping I did when I lost my train of thought. I hadn’t realized how often I glanced at the floor when speaking. I always thought I maintained good eye contact. My voice unfortunately cracks when I talk loud or for too long. Can’t do anything about my lack of voice stamina but I learned to stop, take a breath to allow my voice to pick up again. I thought pausing would slow down the pace of conversation but it actually didn’t. I actually talk really fast so the pauses to give my voice a break had two positive effects.

stan1
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by stan1 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:58 am

Sometimes your spouse can be very helpful (and free) with the side effect of strengthening your relationship. Many very successful people rely on their spouse's honest and respectful feedback. Yes your spouse is not around at work but the traits of how you interact with children, friends, and family absolutely carry over.

Disappointed that this thread has brought out the perception that introversion by itself is a personality disorder that should be treated or that introverts are unsuited for sales. Not all introverts sit in their office behind a closed door to avoid interacting with people all the while lobbing out angry emails. That's a stereotype but is more reflective of a personality disorder than introversion. There are many attributes of extraversion and introversion. Introverts get their energy from within and extraverts get their energy from being around others. Sometimes sales requires out of work schmoozing in bars that's painful for an introvert. This is not descriptive of all sales jobs. Other times sales requires someone who is passionate about their product who can build a trusted relationship based on knowledge and reputation especially if you are selling a high end specialized product. It does help if you are competitive and like to win (either for the team/company or by getting an emotional high by knowing you did your best).

For OP you've taken the first step which is a high level of self awareness. I'd see where it goes. I myself am an pegged introvert in the sense that I get energy from within but I also like to discuss things I am expert at and listen to other people to learn more. It gets my brain going and stirs the creative juices. If that's you too this really is an opportunity!
Last edited by stan1 on Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:59 am

blueman457 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:34 am
rjbraun wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:21 pm
Consider taking an improv class. I have taken them in the past, though I am not familiar with the program shown below.

http://steelcityimprov.com/classes/
+1 someone I know who’s is an introvert thought improv classes helped him present better and think on the fly.
I have been taking improv classes for three years. My primary reasons are that it's a lot of fun and I like to be on stage for the graduation performance in front of the live public. But I am also noticing that I am thinking faster in social occasions, sometimes turning casual interactions into jokes and fun.

In addition to improv, or as part of taking improv, get videotaped when you interact with people. For me, the most revealing video was that of our "extracurricular" improv practice in an empty office on Sunday. One of the guys has set up a video camera but pretty soon we forgot about it and acted normally. Watching a 2.5-hour video of our practice was very revealing.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Fallible
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Fallible » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:34 am

notmyhand wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:59 am
I've found myself in a position at work that has more sales than I am comfortable with. I am generally an introverted quiet person and I do not have problems managing below me but am having trouble connecting with possible clients. I've taken sales classes before so once I connect I think I'm okay but I'm just very forgettable and can't keep a conversation going for very long. I am considering finding a coach to help me learn not to be so soft spoken and to be more outgoing and charismatic. I know I do odd things like not know what to do with my arms when speaking to someone above me and all of these small body language things need fixed. But how does someone go about finding such a person? ...
It will never be easy trying to be something you're not (and there's nothing wrong with who you are :happy ), as others here have noted. You can learn body language, gestures, etc., but if they don't reflect your true nature, prospective clients could see them as awkward and even insincere and that would distract them from what you are trying to sell.

I don't know what you are are selling or under what circumstances (one on one or to a group), but if you truly believe strongly in the product you're trying to sell, i.e., if you can feel and show genuine emotion about it, then perhaps that can override the natural introversion and liven your natural speech.

Also, how well do you know your prospective clients before you talk to them? Doing some research could help you find ways to connect with them, not just as clients, but as individuals, and that might spark your genuine interest, again helping to override the natural introversion and making it easier for you to connect personally with them.

Whatever approach you take will have a better chance of working when it's a genuine expression of yourself and not body language that feels forced (and appears so to others) because it's not you.
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Murgatroyd
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Murgatroyd » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:49 pm

Fallible wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:34 am
notmyhand wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:59 am
I've found myself in a position at work that has more sales than I am comfortable with. I am generally an introverted quiet person and I do not have problems managing below me but am having trouble connecting with possible clients. I've taken sales classes before so once I connect I think I'm okay but I'm just very forgettable and can't keep a conversation going for very long. I am considering finding a coach to help me learn not to be so soft spoken and to be more outgoing and charismatic. I know I do odd things like not know what to do with my arms when speaking to someone above me and all of these small body language things need fixed. But how does someone go about finding such a person? ...
It will never be easy trying to be something you're not (and there's nothing wrong with who you are :happy ), as others here have noted. You can learn body language, gestures, etc., but if they don't reflect your true nature, prospective clients could see them as awkward and even insincere and that would distract them from what you are trying to sell.

I don't know what you are are selling or under what circumstances (one on one or to a group), but if you truly believe strongly in the product you're trying to sell, i.e., if you can feel and show genuine emotion about it, then perhaps that can override the natural introversion and liven your natural speech.

Also, how well do you know your prospective clients before you talk to them? Doing some research could help you find ways to connect with them, not just as clients, but as individuals, and that might spark your genuine interest, again helping to override the natural introversion and making it easier for you to connect personally with them.

Whatever approach you take will have a better chance of working when it's a genuine expression of yourself and not body language that feels forced (and appears so to others) because it's not you.
This is the most sound advice so far. Also the advice to be videotaped. Very revealing.

Be yourself, do not copy anyone. Are you a product expert? If not become one. That will shine through above any personality traits. Body language can be learned, however. It’s a matter of not allowing inner thoughts betray your words.

Good luck!

Hillview
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by Hillview » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:47 pm

Find a good speaking coach. Also look for a SLP or social skills consultant. Often they can help or have a good network. It is very learnable. Good luck and nice work identifying what you need.

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legio XX
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by legio XX » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:20 pm

Murgatroyd wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:49 pm

This is the most sound advice so far. Also the advice to be videotaped. Very revealing.

Be yourself, do not copy anyone. Are you a product expert? If not become one. That will shine through above any personality traits. Body language can be learned, however. It’s a matter of not allowing inner thoughts betray your words.

Good luck!
Yeh. I'm a prof. Recently got some help due to changes at the school that employs me (part time, semi-retired) from a long-term friend who is an accreditation specialist. This is a couple of levels up - my boss is The Chair whose boss is The Dean/Provost, whose boss is The President, who deals with Accreditation Committees to stay in "business." I reworked my "vita," which is academese for "resume," without changing a single fact - and barely recognized myself.

I am more comfortable with the new version, which is truer to me.

I am a "product expert," but the students are not - so I have to explain the value to them. The value of the subject matter, not the value of my hard-earned expertise. If they wind up understanding why they "have to" learn "that stuff" I've made a "sale." This is not demeaning my field or myself; it is explaining it/me to some possibly really cool people who don't know about it/me yet.

If you have confidence in what you are selling, practice selling it. Work on a clear statement of why it is worth buying. Only if the product/service is what makes you uncomfortable, consider moving on.

My tuppence,

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GoldStar
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Re: Body language coach?

Post by GoldStar » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:38 am

Decker's Communiciate To Influence class has changed the lives of many folks that I know that present for a living.
I think they only offer classes in NYC and SF however but you might want to consider the investment.
During the class you will present to the class, they will record you, they will pull you out of the room and show you what you did and how you can improve. Over a couple of days you will rinse/repeat this. I've had several people tell me they couldn't believe how much of a difference it made for them.
https://decker.com

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