Monday, 16 January 2012

Festival Masterclass in Body Language + 6 key aspects of Body Langauge in Selling - London Festival of Mime

The importance of non verbal communication in professional selling has been known for many years. It is important as much for us to ensure our body language is consistent with the message we are putting across to our buyer as trying to interpret their body language.

The  business books and courses advise us to  take into account Congruence by aligning both verbal messages and non verbal signals, Context of the situation and environment and Cluster of gestures. ( Scroll down for the six key behaviours)

Good Body language helps us build solid business relationships and trust with our buyer.

In addition to reading and attending workshops to keep up to date and refresh my technique in body language, I treat myself to a particular form of masterclass in body language by expert practitioners.

Each January in London we are particularly fortunate have a two week festival of the art body language with consummate artists performing at the London Festival of Mime ( now in its 45th year) as well as this year Cirque du Soleil, London with 'Totem' at the Royal Albert Hall.

These artists from all over the world show how humans can perfectly well communicate without words at all. Apart from the wonderful entertainment value they emphasise through the skills of mime and circus craft the power of body language.

On Sunday Jan 14th in the  afternoon I attended a matinee show by the  Baccala Clowns (Camilla Pessi + Simone Fassari) from Switzerland.
To some a ticket to a show ,
to others a certificate of attendance to a masterclass in Body language skills

 Their performance "PSS PSS" involves mime, juggling,  diabolo, acrobatics, trapeze, music and audience participation - all with no words sustained for over an hour.

In one sense the performance was like the stages of the journey of a ' sale'.

It was fully planned , researched with clear objectives - you can't do the acrobatics these two artists do without rehearsal.

Their purpose was  to entertain clearly through gesture. They knew how to keep our attention with interest peaks throughout the performance. So with a sale that must be paced with variety of stimuli to hold a buyer's attention throughout.

They questioned us through gestures and listened for and to our reactions just as we must do with clients.

 They came off the stage into the audience and involved the audience in both One on one encounters and in groups. Similarly in sales we must involve and engage our customer not simply talk at them.

Baccala Clowns showed us how conflict , co-operation, moderation and enthusiasm all need balance in both a physical and emotional sense.

Below are 6 behaviours relevant to selling that the Baccala clowns demonstrated with mastery.

They also knew how to close their show and leave us wanting more.

The London Festival of Mime runs from 11-29th January 2012 at various venues across London.

Go, watch, enjoy and Learn

Six key Sales Bootcamp bullets on Salespeople's  Body Language -  what to avoid  and what to portray to clients.

1. Lack of Interest

§Wandering eyes
§Rapid nodding
§Scratching, leaning on chin on hand, fiddling with pen, papers etc.
§Slouching, frequently changing position
2. Thoughtfulness and Interest
§Eye contact, 75% of time listening
§Tilting head
§Touching cheek, stroking chin, pinching nose, sucking specs
§Leaning forward to speak, leaning backward to listen, keeping still

3. Defensiveness

§Avoiding gaze, looking away

§Not smiling

§Clenched hands, folding arms, rubbing hands

§Leaning away, crossing legs, feet pointing away
4. Friendliness + Co-operation

§Looking at face

§Smiling, nodding

§Open hands, uncrossed arms, touching face occasionally

§Leaning forward, uncrossed legs, moving closer

5. Anxiety

§Rapidly blinking

§Licking lips, clearing throat

§Frequent opening and closing of hands, hand over mouth, ear tugging

§Fidgeting, leg jiggling, feet shuffling

6. Confidence

§No blinking, lots of eye contact

§Chin forward

§Hands behind back never touching face, steeplingingers

§Keeping still, sitting with legs stretched, sitting or standing straight

Wise Words

“A man’s gestures and postures provide a considerable demonstration of his dispositions and habits which sometimes as manifested in the most trivial actions…From outside appearances, from his gestures, words, movements, and the least externals, one can get to know the most important internal matters. That is where the saying comes from- to know someone from his face.”Aristotle, Ancient Greek Philosopher
From a old programme note in English National Opera’s Figaro’s wedding ( Marriage of Figaro)
Related links


Book review 'Body Language in Business'

Suggested Booklist
                        Title                 Author                                    Publisher       ISBN Number

                                                                                    and date

The definitive book of       Allan +  Barbara        Orion              0-75285-878-5

Body language                   Pease                         2004

People Watching                Desmond Morris       Vintage          0-099-42978-0

The Desmond Morris                                               1997,2002

Guide to Body Language

Gestures                               Roger E Axtell          Wiley              0-471-53672-5

The Do’s and TABOOS                                          1991

Of Body Language

around the world

Body Language Courses
Click for link for UK Bodytalk


  1. I wonder if you have more info about this incredible festival sir ! I want to joint it!

  2. Nice blog. I had fun reading this. And it is easy to understand. Nice going.

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