It is widely known and accepted that non-verbal communication greatly impacts the communication process amongst individuals. While the intended message is meant to be communicated verbally through words, non-verbal cues could either emphasise or dilute the quality of the message. If the body language portrayed by the individual who is attempting to convey a message is incongruent with the message, it could potentially affect the credibility of the message. The very fine details in the way the speaker stands and looks at the listener(s) could hint at a lot about that particular individual.

My personal branding is affected by a wide array of factors and I identify non-verbal communication as one of the key factors. Even without speaking, there is a possibility that observers could have already formed an impression of me. I used to suffer from moderately low self-esteem in school and would constantly fail at making eye contact with people who I interact with. Through the years, I have learnt a lot in terms of non-verbal communication through courses and modules in school and at work and I have become more conscious of my body language when I interact with others. This includes forcing myself to make proper eye contact while talking (I’m still perfecting this while trying not to look like a creep).

I have also been exposed to public speaking on many occasions, with different audiences. There was a course in the army that impacted me greatly, where I had to present while being recorded on video. As embarrassing as it was, it made me aware of just how I much I had to improve, in terms of my communication skills. At this juncture, I continuously strive to limit my fidgeting and focus my gestures into more meaningful ones that would aid my presentation.

Meanwhile, my lively nature could sometimes translate into exaggerated and over-the-top gestures that could be the subject of scrutiny. As I learnt more about communication, I come across tips that could help me improve, such as how to be more convincing and how small and appropriate touches helps in persuading others (again, I’m still perfecting the art of persuasion while not appearing like a creep).

As I progress in the hospitality industry, I have to make conscious efforts to improve on my non-verbal communication as I keep in mind the huge impact it has in interpersonal interactions. Fortunately for me, I will never run out of things to learn and the hospitality industry offers me constant opportunities to practise.