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How To Use Body Language to Persuade


Understanding how to use body language to persuade will aid you when you are presenting a sales pitch, making an emotional plea, or trying to change another person’s mind. Hand gestures work well at this. In fact, speakers on stage who use a lot of hand gestures are most effective at conveying their message.

There is research that suggests having your palms up instead of facing them palm down is more likely to lead your listeners to have a favorable interpretation of your message. An open hand is generally seen as friendly, honest, and trustworthy. On the other hand, palms facing upward or with one’s fingers pointing upwards is used to indicate dominance or authority.

When the hands are joined, it expresses conflict and tension. When hands are raised, the resistance increases. Meanwhile, hands held upright give the impression of being confident and authoritative. When intertwined fingers are commonly seen, this is a sign of nervousness or defensiveness. The thumbs-up is also interpreted as a positive gesture.

Crossed wrists demonstrate confidence. A bored person may not necessarily put their hand to their face. And a person who covers their mouth may not be trying to hide their disagreement or a lie. Of course, they might be. You need to gauge the context and the congruence of what their body language is saying. Sometimes when a person brings a hand to their face, it is a deliberate effort to concentrate intensely. When a person folds their hand into a fist, it could mean that they’ve just heard something distressing.

However, also keep in mind cluster, and focus on the eyes to check if your assessment is correct. Disagreement is implied when the hand is placed over the mouth. In most cases, folded arms indicate discomfort, aggression, or possibly a lack of confidence.

If I am trying to persuade this person, I might give them a drink or engage them in an activity to distract them. I know as long as they remain closed off, their attitude will not change until I change their body language.

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