In the Octagon
The two mixed martial arts fighters stand toe to toe at the center of the octagon. They are fighting for the title. Millions of people around the world are watching on TV and the Internet.
Neither fighter says a word. Neither blinks as they stare each other down. The bell hasn’t sounded, but the fight has already started.
The guy in the black trunks with the red and blue dragon tattoo displayed across the right side of his chest is swaying back and forth. He cocks his head and stares. His arms are fully extended down each side of his body with both fists tightly wrapped. He’s sending a clear message without saying a word.
The fighter in the bright green shorts with red hair is standing inches away and is perfectly still. His body is ripped, and it’s obvious he’s ready to get it on. His eyes are almost closed, and he looks like he’s meditating. He’s not moving and his silence displays confidence and power. Our red haired competitor is also making a statement without saying a word.
As the fighters reach out and tap knuckles, they glance at each other. The guy in the black pumps his fist in the air as he turns and walks back to his corner. He’s sending a message to his opponent, and the world. His actions speak louder than words.
Our friend in the green smiles and blows his opponent a sarcastic kiss followed with a wink before returning to his side of the octagon. He also sends a silent, but effective, final message before the battle begins.
In The Courtroom
Good trial lawyers know that “communicating” in the courtroom is much more than giving an opening statement, asking witnesses questions, or passionately sharing a closing argument. They know their message is often times delivered and highlighted not by what they say, but by their actions. Often how they look, act, react, and what they wear can influence the jury.
During every moment of a trial, lawyers send messages by the way they walk by or stand near the jury box. Body language is a powerful communication tool and experienced trial lawyers know that what the jury sees when a lawyer approaches the witnesses stand often sets the tone for what’s going to happen next. How lawyers react to unexpected testimony, an objection by opposing counsel, or a judge’s comments also sends a silent, but powerful, message to the jury.
Regardless of what you do for a living, just like MMA fighters and lawyers, you too are communicating to an audience with your body language and conduct. What you say and how you act sends a message to everyone around you. Whether you’re walking into a Starbucks, engaging on social media, or participating on a live streaming show, you’re always sending direct and indirect signals and messages with your body language.
Understand this single concept and put it to use. Intentionally communicate your unspoken message with focus and purpose. Do this consistently and eventually, it will become a habit.
Good MMA fighters and trial lawyers know the power of silent communication through body language. Now you do too!