We all want to look and feel good about ourselves – preferably every day – so we invest time and money to dress smartly at work, we dress up for parties or a night out with our friends, we pay extra attention to our looks during important events, etc.
The way you dress makes an important impression on people around you and that’s either good or bad! But what about your body language, do you ever pay attention to it?
It is known that 70 percent of human communication is non-verbal; one look can say a lot of things at once, in addition to your facial expressions, posture when you sit, stand or walk, and your hand gestures!
whether you’re hosting a TED talk or lecture as a teacher or scientist, or just want to get your point across to your friends or kids, you may unconsciously make a number of hand gestures as you speak.
Are you aware of which of these hand gestures actually help make you and whatever you’re saying extra interesting?!
1. The OK hand gesture
This hand gesture has become a famous internet meme and every body language expert’s subject of attention, all thanks to Donald Trump who uses it in almost all of his speeches!
Body language experts say that when someone displays the OK hand gesture while speaking to convince you of something, it indicates that they are putting emphasis on every word that comes out of their mouths and want you to listen to whatever they have to say.
According to body language expert, Robert Phipps, when the forefinger and thumb are not fully forming a circle, leaving a tiny gap, it signifies that the person’s thoughts are incomplete.
So, if you use this hand gesture, it probably leaves an impression on the person you’re talking to and prompts them to listen to you, especially if the circle is full!
On a side note, the OK hand sign that typically signifies that all is fine has been listed as a symbol of hate since it’s been overused in widespread hate images across the internet and by the criminal behind the New Zealand mosque shooting in March 2019.
2. Look at this steeple
The hand steeple is a universal hand gesture that indicates charisma and confidence, often used by the best public speakers, leaders, politicians and other influential people.
When you place your fingertips together to resemble a church steeple, other people see you as a serious and focused individual. It’s like saying, “I’m not here to play!”
The hand steeple works well when you want to make a strong impression on your team as a leader or students if you’re a teacher.
3. This, this, and this
You know that hand gesture you make when you’re going over all your thoughts to summarize what you’ve already spoken about? It’s called the backhand slap – when you slap the back of your hand on the palm of your other hand.
This hand gesture is may not seem as charismatic as, for example, the hand steeple but it’s actually quite powerful. This hand gesture attracts the listener’s attention, like telling them: “Hey, listen up! We’re talking about this point and this point!”
The backhand slap gesture is used by many politicians or professors who want to get their point across and let it be remembered!
4. I have nothing to hide
Speaking with your palms and arms open shows that you’re relaxed and have wide knowledge about whatever subject you’re discussing.
The open palm hand gesture communicates your honesty to people and invites them to listen intently.
If you want to gain other people’s trust when you have a noble motive and need their help, open your arms with your palms facing each other and move them simultaneously as if to emphasize each of your words.
5. ‘Use your brain!’
When you put or tap your forefinger on the side of our forehead while discussing something, you alert your audience and win their attention, especially if you’re trying to make someone understand your point!
Scientists, teachers, and intellectuals, in general, use this hand gesture when lecturing about a certain topic, be it related to science or philosophy, etc. It’s basically stating, “Remember my every word” to the listener or saying: “I’m using my brain and so should you!”
If you want to explain something interesting in a smart-looking way, tap three times on the side of your face, near your eyebrow. But don’t overdo it with the tapping, otherwise your clever point will just get funnier by the second!
6. One, two, three
Using your fingers to list the points you want to discuss indicates that your thoughts are organized and that you have a broad knowledge of the topic.
Just like when you use the backhand slap and the OK hand gesture, counting down with each finger to list your points keeps listeners interested in whatever you have to say next.
But, of course, eye contact and the rest of your body language, your speech, and the tone of your voice matter in capturing the listener’s attention. So, speaking in a monotone voice while using this hand gesture or other meaningful hand gesture is such a waste!
Those were some of the simple yet powerful hand gestures that can capture and keep people’s attention and interest in you. Stay interesting!