7 hand gestures that hammer home your message

Pronated palms assert dominance, ‘steepling’ conveys confidence, and a swift chopping motion says, ‘that’s the way it is.’

7 hand gestures

In any form of interpersonal communication, words are just part of the story.

The hands do the real talking.

A research-backed motion graphic posted by PoundPlace offers seven hand gestures that are “guaranteed to get people to listen to you” or, at the very least, convey your message with a strong measure of subconscious, primal authority.

Here are a few moves to try in your next presentation:

‘I’m certain.’

hand gestures

Don’t have qualms about using those palms.

According to the graphic:

Anthropologist David Givens found that palms down gestures convey assertiveness—not just in humans, but throughout the animal kingdom. Whether it’s lizards with their claws or humans with their hands, this pronated hand gesture shows dominance of a subject or subject matter.

This move might come in handy if you’re negotiating more budget for your department, resolving a parking dispute or perhaps intimidating your colleagues into leaving your sack lunch alone.

‘I’m confident in myself.’

hand gestures

Steepling” is a power move that conveys confidence and expertise. You run the risk of looking like you’re preparing to catch a football, but it’s worth a try in your next speech.

‘This is the way it is.’

hand gestures

This swift chopping motion “embodies the abstract idea of rigid, unwavering precision,” according to the piece. The graphic says to use this gesture, “when you want to make a strong, precise point or when you want to indicate a precise measurement.”

This tactic can drive your points home in the boardroom, at the lectern and in the deli line.

For the rest of the infographic’s power gestures, click here.


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