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Using Body Language to Sell: Boosting Engagement Through Video

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By Pippa Pech


This title makes me think of those books from the 1990’s. They were all about the high pressure sales and trying to “win over” your client. Luckily we’ve moved on from then! They were right in the idea that our body language influences those around us; however, now the focus is more on the subtle changes we can make, rather than using a fake sales-persona. 

As with face to face communication, body language impacts your interactions when you are engaging with your audience, in whatever form that may take: YouTube videos, Zoom calls, Facebook lives, Instagram TV, etc. And as with face to face, people are more likely to engage with you if you appear open, honest, interesting, animated and friendly. They are also more likely to engage with you if you appear interested in them, the viewer. 


Communication is made up of approximately 7% speech, 38% voice tone and 55% body language. These figures do depend on context, but they are widely accepted as pretty close in most situations. While your content is very important, the way you deliver it can make or break your message. We do cover voice tone in the course Body Language Principles To Boost Engagement with your Videos, but for this article, the focus is body language. 


Body language includes facial expressions, eye movements, gestures, posture and use of personal space. Most body language cues are automatic so if your brain doesn’t believe in what you are saying and you aren’t paying attention to the cues you are giving out, then your body will portray this to your audience. This doesn’t mean that what you are saying is untrue. It may just be that you are struggling with imposter’s syndrome or you don’t believe you are the right person to be selling your product (whether it be a physical product, digital product, or a brand). While working on your mindset and ensuring you are getting yourself in the right frame of mind will help, you can also modify your body language signals to ensure you are portraying the best message possible. 


Now again, I’m not talking about hard sales tactics that intimidate your customers into buying or making you look like a stereotypical used car salesman, but just making yourself appear open, honest and approachable. And often, this is just about bringing in some of your natural behaviours. For many of us, as soon as there is a camera in front of us, we freeze up and either become like robots or we go way over the top and even to ourselves we sound “salesy”. The best way to reduce the deer in headlights feeling is to practice. The more you appear in front of a camera, the more natural you will feel. You will find that as you get comfortable your on-camera persona will become more like yourself. Viewers want to connect with you and they can only do this if you appear relatable. 


Once you begin to feel more comfortable on camera, one of the main body language signals to work on is eye contact. Eye contact is vitally important as it is seen as a sign of trust and wellbeing. Good eye contact not only builds rapport, it can also make the listener feel like the most important thing to you at that moment.  Just because your audience aren’t in the room doesn’t mean that you can’t maintain eye contact. For your viewers, the lens of the camera is their “eyes”. If you are using a smartphone or laptop and watching yourself on the screen, then it appears to your viewer that you are looking slightly over their shoulder or down at their chest. Adjusting your focus will make a huge difference to the connection you have with your audience!


Another area to consider is the energy and passion you are conveying to your audience. By showing that you feel the topic is exciting and worthwhile, through both your words and your actions, you are more likely to have a positive influence on your viewers. As mentioned, if you really feel energetic and passionate about a topic, your body language will automatically follow. You’ll stand up taller, your movements will become more animated and your voice tone will be more varied. Hopefully you are selling something you really are passionate about; however there will be days where you just don’t feel it. In these cases you need to spend some time working on your mindset, but you may also need to fake the passion and therefore fake the body language cues. 

The good thing is, once your body language starts to show you are passionate, this tricks your brain into feeling more passionate. This can lead to a great upwards cycle! How do you do this? As mentioned, you need to stand taller, and pull your shoulders back. Great posture will make you feel better immediately. Uncross your arms, open your gestures and smile a real smile. The more you do this, the easier it will become. 


Once you have a customer engaged and feeling that you “get them” and that your interactions are interesting and enjoyable, they are more likely to look out for your other work or take the action that you are suggesting. This may mean buying a course, following you on Insta, joining your Facebook group or heading over to your website to check out your products. Even if this one engagement doesn’t get them to do whatever your call to action is, it may be enough for them to keep an eye out for more from you or even recommend your content to others. All of these actions lead to an increase in sales for you. 


For more practical techniques on how to improve your body language check out our free Body Language Basics to Boost Engagement with Your Videos course or if you want the exact step by step guide on how you can personally implement these techniques check out the Principles course.  

For more body language tips, tricks and techniques for everyday situations, head over to our website BodyLanguageAnalysis.com. 


I have spent more than 10 years working for a number of Australian government agencies as an investigator, dealing with both criminal and civil cases and holding top secret security clearance. I also have a Masters in Criminology. While my work and study have given me an amazing grounding and some very interesting experiences, I live in the real world and realise that body language skills can be applied by anyone, anywhere. I use my experience to show how you can use body language to your advantage in an interesting and practical way.

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