Body Language – Hand Talk

Body Language – Hand Talk

After you have learned how to control your legs, use most out of eye contact, head movement and proper handshake, there is still room left for thinking how to handle your hands during a conversation.


Palm-up position.

Historically, the palms-up position signalled the person you are communicating with that you do not have weapons. Transferred to the present time, this hand position is non-threatening, sometimes even submissive. Let us say that you ask someone to do something for you: if your palms are up, the person will not feel your dominance, but will do what you asked as a favour – since this gesture creates a sense of equality between people.


Palm-down position.

In contrast to the palm-up position, if you want to give an impression of an authoritative person, turn your palms down during a conversation. This breads confidence and shows that you know what you are talking about. There is a difference in whether you are talking to someone who is equal to you by professional status or below you. If a person is below you by hierarchy, this hand position during conversation is acceptable, but someone equal to you might get offended and think that you are giving orders and putting yourself above others.


Palm-closed-finger-pointed position.

People find this hand position annoying during conversations since it puts others in a subordinate position. It is common for people who give talks to use this hand gesture, but they should be aware that it evokes negative feeling in listeners, so it should be avoided.


Hiding hands.

You have most certainly found yourself hiding hands when you are nervous. One of the ways for hiding hands is placing them in your pockets. However, this position should be avoided since it gives away the impression that the person is lying or avoiding communication.


“Chopping” movement.

A hand movement very often seen in people is a quick wave that looks as if cutting through the air. Anyone who waves his arms in this way while speaking is perceived as authoritative. What you maybe do not know is that this non-verbal communication is related to people who have strong opinions and do not change them easily.


Rubbing hands.

As you have probably noticed and already know, there is a difference between fast and slow rubbing palms. Rubbing palms at fast pace represents some positive, expectation or readiness for action, while slow palm rubbing is usually a sign of hidden intention, insincerity and knavery. Nevertheless, it is more often seen while making fun of something than in serious real life situations.


Fingertips touching position. 

Also called “Mountain hands”, this is the position when fingers of one hand are pressed against the fingers of the other hand. It is a real show of power regardless of the accompanying body language signs.


Hands in the back.

The rule followed by all public speakers, at least the good ones, is to show hands while talking. Hands in the back is an exception to this rule. This position is characteristic for men and indicates a high level of confidence.


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