5 body language tips for when you’re wearing a mask in any work situation

A big part of how someone can sell themselves in the business world is through their face.

Potential clients, hiring managers and many other key individuals on your path to success can become that much more interested in you based on your gift of gab and ability to utilize your mouth for the greater good of whatever purpose you’re currently in.

COVID, as we all know by now, has altered our talking and facial expression abilities. The biggest accessory of 2020 is a face mask.

Some use the generic blue and white ones seen all across the world while others have gotten a bit more-fashion forward with them where they come in all different kinds of patterns and designs.

Sporting a face mask isn’t going away anytime soon. We are more than likely about to go into a second lockdown based on the high percentage of COVID numbers domestically and a vaccine is still in the works for this worldwide pandemic that has gone on for almost a year now. 

Although a lot of what we used to do during our normal work week has shifted to the digital side there are still times where in person things will occur. Networking, interviews, and group meetings are three huge examples of that. 

So what happens when you want to shine in each with only a portion of your face being visible? Here are 5 great body language tips to remember that will help you along the way.

Relax Your Shoulders. It’s very easy to notice when someone is tense at work. A big part of that happens in some part of the upper body with shoulders being the most noticeable.

You don’t want to be that person who makes everyone else uncomfortable because you’re having a nerve-wracking time so a simple thing to do is to relax them as much as possible. Doing so will help you communicate and listen that much more effectively without causing a distraction.

Nod When Needed. We’ll call this NWN for short. NWN is necessary along with utilizing your eyes as its another tool in showing you are engaged. It lets the person or person(s) around you know that you hear what they are saying with the hopes that you’re taking it all in by this slight yet effective head gesture.

We’ve all learned in the professional world that a little bit goes a long way and this is an excellent example of that. 

Smize. You heard me right. The term coined by Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model is more useful than ever during COVID. It’s short for “smiling with your eyes” and is a great body language tool to use when the rest of your face is hidden.

This pop culture term shows that you are focused and present in whatever situation you are in regardless if you’re the one doing the talking or listening to the chatter happening around you. 

Tone of Voice. Just because you get a free pass for your lips being hidden (no lipstick, chapped lips, etc) doesn’t mean your voice gets the similar treatment. Speed, tempo and pitch while chatting during a networking event or interview is key to success as you want to keep the person engaged without being annoyed. Don’t talk too loud or too fast, stay on topic and speak with confidence in whatever the situation is. 

Use Your Hands In The Right Way. For one, try not to touch your face at all. Things like itching your nose, playing with your hair or smoothing your eyebrows show signs of nervousness and that’s not the kind of vibe you want to be giving off.

On the flip side, use your hands in other useful ways. If you’re meeting with someone for a long period of time and keep your arms and hands in a robotic nature then you may appear to be boring or standoffish. Talking with your hands, especially when your face is half covered, can show a warm, agreeable and energetic side of you that will help the conversation you are in go that much more smoothly.