By Carla Vercoe, Peak Pilates® Master Instructor
Attention Pilates instructors! You’re saying more than you think. Those unspoken messages you’re sending your students are more powerful than you realize. Your body language speaks volumes and plays an important role in both strengthening the instructor/client bond and increasing client loyalty.
Use these six tips to project confidence and credibility to your clients:
You convey confidence and authority when you stand tall. Keep your posture erect, your shoulders back, and hold your head high as you approach students. Not only does it tell students you know what you’re doing, but it also displays the power of Pilates and the difference it can make in your life and body. Continue standing as you teach your session. Sitting while teaching is never appropriate; it discredits the professional image you want to project.
Did you know that the facial expressions you make triggers corresponding feelings? Smiling not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it sparks similar feelings in your students. Research from Duke University reveals that we like and remember the people who smile at us. What’s more, a genuine smile conveys a sense of warmth and communicates that you care about your students.
Show that You’re Listening
Nothing communicates disinterest to clients more than approaching them with cell phone in hand, checking emails or text messages. When talking with students, demonstrate that you’re listening by maintaining eye contact and nodding your head when appropriate to indicate you understand what they are saying.
Eliminate Nervous Gestures
If you’re a new Pilates instructor, chances are you experience some degree of nervousness when you’re teaching a class or giving a lesson. But your students don’t need to know that. Reduce or eliminate nervous gestures like playing with your jewelry, wringing your hands, or twirling your hair. Instead, plant your feet firmly on the floor, stand in Pilates stance and breathe deeply. You’ll be feeling and looking confident in no time.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to record yourself teaching a class and seeing what habits you can keep up or eliminate. This will pay huge dividends when you project the image of a confident, knowledgeable Pilates instructor that will keep clients coming back again and again.
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