Use your hand gestures wisely! Because the right ones can make you more like-able and the wrong ones can make you look out of control! That’s according to psychologist Dr. Carol Gorman. So, let’s start with the gestures we should NOT use:
- First: Finger pointing and wagging. It’s used by scolding parents, and politicians or executives to emphasize a point, or show dominance. But experts say finger pointing suggests you’re losing control of the situation.
- Also, avoid self-pacifying gestures. People who are nervous or stressed tend to rub their hands, tug at their clothing, and play with their hair or jewelry. But that can make you look unprepared or insecure.
- And beware of OVER-gesturing – especially if your hands are above your shoulders – it can make you look frantic, less powerful and out of control.
So which gestures are positive?
Ones that show composure. Arms held waist-high help you, and the people you’re speaking to, feel centered and composed. In fact, Dr. Gorman coaches executives to keep their arms at their waist, accompanied by a stance about shoulder-width wide. It helps keep them grounded, energized and focused.