You’ve got your annual review with management, you want to make a positive impression and push for a pay rise.

Key moves

“Walk into the room slower and more controlled, with open arms and sit with a forward lean if you are seated,” recommends body language expert, David Alssema. “This will show you’re actively engaged and interested.”

Less movement and less fidgeting, and stronger and slower gesturing, will help you to convey a confident and authoritative image, Alssema says.

Above all, keep control of your hands, says psychologist Dr Diane McGreal, from the Australian Psychological Society.

“Make sure your hands aren’t too busy or twitchy. That will just be a distraction. If you really want to emphasise a point, use one hand with an open palm, not a fist,” she says.

“And never put your hand over your mouth. This immediately says you are covering something up.”

Key words

“Use power words such as ‘achieved’, ‘acquired’ and ‘attained’ to make your statements stronger, more believable and powerful,” says Michelle Bowden, a presentation skills trainer. “By using power words, you assume an active rather than a passive voice and will come across as more reliable.”

If a difficult issue comes up, be sure to use the word ‘only’ when referring to it, in order to minimise the impact. And get your paralinguistics right.

“Paralinguistics is all about tone, pitch, emphasis and volume,” says Dr McGreal. “You need to make sure these match what you say. We can all learn the words but if these things aren’t lining up, it’s not going to have the impact you want.”

Do your research and prepare what you want to say so you can concentrate on delivering it with maximum effect.

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Author: David Goding; Photo credit: Thinkstock