6 Positions of Persuasive Body Language

8 April 2017 | Your body language does not determine the success of your presentation. A persuasive body language makes your presentation more convincing and interesting. At least, it keeps the audience attention. Below are six position persuasive body language suggested by the Center for Body Language.

The box

thebox

Early in Bill Clinton’s political career he would punctuate his speeches with big, wide gestures that made him appear untrustworthy. To help him keep his body language under control, his advisors taught him to imagine a box in front of his chest and belly and contain his hand movements within it. Since then, “the Clinton box” has become a popular term in the field.

Holding the ball

holdingtheball

Gesturing as if you were holding a basketball between your hands is an indicator of confidence and control, as if you almost literally have the facts at your fingertips hands. Steve Jobs frequently used this position in his speeches.

Pyramid hands

pyramidhand

When people are nervous, their hands often flit about and fidget. When they’re confident, they are still. One way to accomplish that is to clasp both hands together in a relaxed pyramid. Many business executives employ this gesture, though beware of overuse or pairing it with domineering or arrogant facial expressions. The idea is to show you’re relaxed, not smug.

Wide stance

widestance

How people stand is a strong indicator of their mindset.  When you stand in this strong and steady position, with your feet about a shoulder width apart, it signals that you feel in control.

Palms up

palmsup

This gesture indicates openness and honesty.  Oprah makes strong use of this during her speeches. She is a powerful, influential figure, but also appears willing to connect sincerely with the people she is speaking to, be it one person or a crowd of thousands.

Palms down

palmsdown

The opposite movement can be viewed positively too—as a sign of strength, authority and assertiveness. Barack Obama has often used it to calm a crowd right after moments of rousing oration.

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* Source: Kasia Wezowski, 2017. 6 Ways to Look More Confident During a Presentation. Harvard Business Review, April 6.

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