18 Hand Gestures That Can Make You More Appealing
Picking the skin off your fingers while talking, twirling your hair, or crossing your arms can kill your charisma. Instead, use appropriate and powerful gestures to charge you with self-confidence and instantly lure in people all around you. Opening your palms, putting your hand on your chest, or tapping your head will make your speech more compelling. With these tips, you can rest assured that you’ll be remembered by your interlocutors, as it’s these gestures that create lasting memories.
Bright Side is ready to boost your charisma up to the sky by bringing you practical tips. These can be used when you speak in public or when you have a chit-chat with your friends. Let’s get started!
1. “Let me tell you something.”
This is a powerful gesture that instantly points out the importance of the situation and will help you to catch people’s attention. But be careful while using it since many people don’t like to be pointed at and might feel offended. Use it only when you need to in order to emphasize significant points in your speech.
2. Open palm gesture
This move will come in handy when you want to build an audience’s trust. With this, you show that you are open to them. It’s like you’re saying, “I have nothing to hide.” At the same time, this will make you appear intimate and sincere with the people who are listening to you. However, there is no need to overuse it — too much of it is never good.
This is a great gesture for highlighting a topic and building up a connection with someone. As it’s impolite to just point out at someone, this move can be used to make your interlocutors feel included. In a situation when you want to bond with someone over whatever you’re talking about, pointing will come in handy. It will grab anyone’s attention in no time.
When someone puts their hand on their chest, most people will automatically feel that the person is telling the truth. This is a universal gesture that’s used to show sincerity and makes people feel that you really mean what you say. By doing this, we’re indicating our truth.
This is one of the most used and meaningful gestures. It’s practiced by many famous orators and it always has a great effect on the public.
5. Contrasting some points
Your point will always be understood better if you gesticulate while describing it. This sign is used to show 2 points at hand. By moving your hands up and down, you highlight the ideas and make it easier for the listeners to understand what you’re saying. It also helps to separate one thing from another.
6. “Pinch the point”
To point out the most important points of your speech, this gesture should be used. It makes the audience feel that they need to concentrate on that particular piece of information. Or you can use it to metaphorically grab something out of the air and at the same time, focus their attention on your words.
7. Sweeping away
When some ideas have already been discussed and you feel like you don’t need them anymore, use your hands to “swipe” them away. It looks like you’ve cleaned the space between you and the people listening. This can also be seen as a logical ending of one part of a conversation and will help your listeners to switch gears and focus on another topic.
8. Counting down
If you have several points that need to be discussed, use your fingers to list your thoughts. This will help you to put structure into your speech and make it easier for your interlocutors to follow your flow. The best way to do this is to use your fingers, moving them as you count out loud. Also, you will create some curiosity as people might grow interested in what point you’ll say next.
9. Memory encouragement
One more gesture to encourage your audience’s memory is tapping on your head with your finger. To perform this move, you need to tap the side of your forehead slightly above your eyebrow, no more than 3 times. This will indicate that one important concept or statement of yours needs to be remembered.
10. Grading the points
This gesture can be used in 2 situations either for listing something or for ranking the most and least important points. For example, you can push out your palm up high to show that something is of top priority. And by putting it down, you can indicate that something is of low ranking and might not need that much attention. Listing your points with this movement is a good alternative to counting down with your fingers.
11. Air quotes
Raised pairs of fingers to simulate quotations marks while you make a statement indicate irony or sarcasm. Not everyone understands sarcasm the same way you do, so this gesture will help you to make yourself more clear to listeners. With air quotes, you can also indicate that you should not be taken verbatim at this particular moment.
12. The backhand slap
Sometimes you might need to summarize the most important points of your speech and call attention to some of its parts. In this case, you can use the “listen up” gesture. It works as a finalizing movement and makes people understand that they need to concentrate on the things you are going to say, think them through, and remember them.
13. “It wasn’t me.”
An effective way to make an audience like you more is to make simple jokes. If in the story that you’re telling, you need to deny something about yourself, you can use this move. Simply raise your palms up as if you’re showing that you’re not involved. Pairing this with a funny face and a small joke will have a positive effect on the people you’re talking to.
14. The steeple
The hand steeple, when the fingers are held together, has a special meaning behind it. It shows your confidence and makes you look powerful. You shouldn’t use it if you want to gain someone’s trust. Instead, it will work better in situations when you need to negotiate or persuade someone. This move is very popular among lawyers and politicians.
It’s also used among other modern influencers.
15. “We can do this!”
This particular gesture will add an emotional element to your speech. Fist clenching makes you look strong and encouraging, and your emotions will take over your audience. With this movement, you’re saying, “Let’s be strong,” and “We can do this!” By feeling your power, they will tend to believe strongly in the things you say and will be confident in your success.
16. The karate chop
This gesture should be used with caution as it hides a powerful meaning behind it. The “karate chop” is popular among politicians and other public speakers since it adds some “dramatic emphasis” to their words. It’s like saying, “This is how it’s going to be!” Using this gesture is good when you’re talking to a big audience, however, when you’re speaking to a small group of friends, it’s better to avoid it.
17. “Stop it!”
Raising your palms toward someone will indicate that you want them to be quiet for a couple of seconds and listen. This should not be overused, as after some time it might appear rude or even offensive. But when used once, politely and slowly, it can grab attention and make listeners concentrate on the information you’re saying.
18. Thumbs up
For many people, a thumbs up can indicate approval and attaches positive meaning behind the words being said with it. This can be used at the end of your speech as a closing button to encourage people. This gesture is used a lot by politicians to improve people’s moods and make them like something more.
Do you enjoy giving speeches? Do you often use gestures while speaking? Which ones? Let’s discuss it in the comment section!
Preview photo credit AP/EAST NEWS