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Lead Story

Virtual money, tangible profits


Industry Update

Interac seeks for-profit status

GO-Tag a show-stopper

Certify payment pros on security?

Beltway interest drives interchange book sales

CharlieCard gets charley horse


Karen Lazer

Prepaid acceptance online

David Fish
Mercator Advisory Group


Banking on mobile

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group


Street SmartsSM:
Stay the course

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services

The residual-buying game

Lane Gordon

Old is new in POS fashion

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

Body language

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

A day in the life of a successful MLS

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services

A day in the life of a successful MLS

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services

Company Profile


Affinity Solutions

New Products

Cash advance reaches new vertical

ProMAC Electronic Payment Advance
Companies: Professional Merchant Advance Capital L


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Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 22, 2008  •  Issue 08:09:02

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Body language

By Vicki M. Daughdrill

Did you know people form an opinion of you within seven seconds of meeting you? Did you know when your body language is different from your spoken language people believe what they see, not what they hear?

And did you know people are constantly telling you what they think and feel - without using words?

Nonverbal communication - the use of personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions and eye contact - directly relates to the spoken message. Those who understand nonverbal communication are better able to ascertain the underlying meaning of the spoken word.

Mastering nonverbal communication and using it persuasively makes the difference between a great impression and a negative impression. It also is an extremely effective tool in managing and growing a business.

Body language includes even the most subtle movements, including winking and the slight raise of an eyebrow. A simple gesture such as rolling your eyes communicates exactly what you mean without any words.

Following are some key areas of body language to consider:

A blank expression combined with crossed arms is a sign of hostility, complete disassociation from the situation or a focus on responding rather than listening.


To help you assess your behavior and determine if it is in step with the messages you want to convey, here are five suggestions:

  1. Practice, practice, practice. While you do not want a canned, choreographed presentation - down to individual gestures - you do want to establish your general tone and message. And you want to be sure your nonverbal language enhances your verbal presentation.

  2. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Identify whether your body language is conveying anger, tension, frustration or other negative emotions. Are you sending a message of enthusiasm, assertiveness or aggression? Assertiveness can be appropriate, but aggression is rarely appropriate and tends to undermine the message.

  3. Videotape your presentation. If you make cold calls, videotape a typical cold call. How do you look? How do you sound? What does your body language tell potential customers?

    Be sure you look natural and at ease. If you are new to the payment processing business, are you confident in your products and services? Is this reflected in your body language?

  4. Ask trusted friends, colleagues, mentors or family members for help. Personal feedback is often difficult to hear but it can be extremely useful in seeing ourselves as others perceive us.

  5. Take immediate steps to alter negative gestures or behaviors. Be extremely careful to avoid any sexual innuendos, flirtations or unintended suggestions. These are always inappropriate in a professional setting.


Following are tips to help you rein- force your message through body language, as well as decipher the messages from those speaking to you.

As you work to strengthen your communication skills, pay particular attention to the nonverbal messages you are sending.

By understanding the meaning behind expressions, gestures and behaviors, you can be more successful in assuring your message is delivered as you intend.

And by responding appropriately to the listener's nonverbal communication, you have a greater likelihood that your message will be received as you intend.

Vicki M. Daughdrill is the Managing Member of Small Business Resources LLC, a management consulting company. E-mail her at or call her at 601-310-3594.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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