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How to Properly Interpret Body Language

No matter what profession you are in, being able to communicate clearly is fundamental to your success. Truly effective communication is more than just spoken words - we communicate through our posture, facial expression, and most of all, our eyes! Being aware of your body language, as well as being able to accurately read that of our clients and bosses is crucial.

Tonya Reiman is an incredible body language expert; you may have seen her on TV, dissecting the body language of celebrities, politicians or some other interesting figures. I had so much fun chatting with Tony and learned a lot! Enjoy!



Spoken word is only one small aspect of effective communication; your body language and nonverbals construct, alongside with your word, the way that others perceive you. Recognize that your body language isn't for you, it's for the person you are talking to and the perception that they’ll have about you as a result. Be strategic about how you carry and hold yourself to ensure that your communication is as effective as possible.


Throughout the episode, Tonya introduces specific advice about how to portray strong body language, on Zoom and in person. On Zoom, she advocates for making eye contact with the red dot, being more melodious with your vocal tones, and monitor your speed of voice to ensure that others are still engaged; she also explains that for those who get anxious or have extra energy, holding a pencil while on Zoom can help to displace energy, take notes, and relax your brain. Smiling and echoing the language of others can be effective tools to build confidence and portray openness. Lastly, if you are in an uncomfortable physical interaction, Tonya recommends to very slowly take a gentle step back and point your foot in another direction while tilting your torso the other way to calm the other person and make it less confrontational.


An important part of body language is being able to recognize when others are uncomfortable so that you can truly understand what they’re portraying and how they’re feeling, above and beyond the words that they use. Knowing the audience culture is an important part of this, but it’s never taught in corporate training or school. One technique Tonya explains, advocates for baseline people according to their typical traits and then looking for deviations from the traits to assess what emotions they are portraying through their body language.

🎧 To learn more about these ideas, dive deeper into the concept of body language, learn about effective communication, or find yourself a mentor in Cece, head to the Dear Accountant Podcast here.

🎙 “Dear Accountant” podcast is a uniquely insightful and entertaining podcast for aspiring young business professionals. Each episode is packed with actionable advice to help young finance professionals get ready for whatever challenge they may face next. Aside from all of the many cool things in accounting (technical topics and trends), we bring in industry experts and influential leaders to share their journey, insights and perspectives. We will also cover topics that were not taught in school - life essential skills such as personal finance, emotional intelligence, mentorship, networking, body language and human behaviors, and so much more!

💬 About our guest, Tonya Reiman: Tonya Reiman is a nonverbal communication specialist. She has provided expert body language analysis and knowledge of communication in print, radio and various tv media such as the today show, good morning America, and fast money. She contributes to articles on body language and persuasion for such publications as Cosmopolitan, Time Magazine, and The New York Times.

📖 Get the amazing advices from the 20 mentors in the “Dear Accountant” Book: The book offers a unique immersion into the lives and careers of 20 inspiring leaders in finance from different disciplines - their backstories, pivotal moments, career trajectories, and hiccups along the way.

🎧 Listen to Cece’s interviews about her passion and mission in writing this book and paying it forward to help young professionals to find meaning and fulfillment in their life and career:


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