The scenario: You’re stuck in a stuffy boardroom while your monotone boss gives an epically boring presentation. How can you appear as though you’re engrossed, even if you’re anything but?
The solution: Body language can speak volumes – but who says it has to tell the truth? Eliot Hoppe, a Calgary-based body-language expert, says tilting your head to one side and giving intermittent nods will convey you’re paying attention.
A word of caution: “You’ve got to make sure that you’re semi-attentive to what the topic is, otherwise you might be nodding your head when you shouldn’t be. That could come back and bite you.”
Finally, shift your physiology every once in a while, but not so much as to appear fidgety. If you’re sitting with your left ankle crossed over your right knee, switch legs. If your hands are on the table, withdraw them. Slight, natural, movements signal to the speaker that you haven’t zoned out. As a bonus, these subtle shifts could also help you avoid nodding off.