Body Language and Gestures

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Body Language and Gestures:

Body Language and Gestures Ashutosh Mishra Sonal Sachdeva Galgotias Business School

What is Body Language ?:

What is Body Language ? Body language is nonverbal communication that involves body movement. “Gesturing” can also be termed as body language which is absolutely non-verbal means of communication. People in the workplace can convey a great deal of information without even speaking; through nonverbal communication.

How Does Body Speak?:

How Does Body Speak? Like any spoken language, body language has words, sentences and punctuation. Each gesture is like a single word and one word may have several different meanings.

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What we are trying to deliver to the one whom we are communicating through verbal means might not be exactly similar to the one which we are delivering from our non-verbal means i.e. BODY

Non verbal communication:

Non verbal communication Body language Gesture Face Posture Voice Power Pitch Pause Pace

Let’s Examine How Body Communicates, from head to toes:

Let’s Examine How Body Communicates, from head to toes


BODY MOVEMENT Balance movements with verbal cues Avoid random movements Step forward to indicate you are arriving at a point Step back when concluding a point and signals the audience they can relax momentarily Always lead with your foot nearest your destination .

FACIAL EXPRESSIONS Facial expressions reflect emotion, feelings and attitudes :

FACIAL EXPRESSIONS Facial expressions reflect emotion, feelings and attitudes

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The face is one of the most reliable indicators of a person’s attitudes, emotions & feelings By analysing facial expressions, interpersonal attitudes can be discerned and feedback obtained. Some people try to hide their true emotions. The term Poker Face describes them

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Common facial gestures are: Frowns: unhappiness, anger Smiles: happiness Sneers: dislike, disgust Clenched jaws: tension, anger Pouting lips: sadness.

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Your face is watched whenever you speak Often the key determinant of the meaning behind a message Communicates your attitudes, feelings, and emotions more so than any other part of your body.


EYE CONTACT To make people feel good and show your interest you must maintain eye contact. The easiest way to maintain eye contact naturally is to look at the persons whole face above the tip of their nose

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Windows of the soul, excellent are indicators of feelings. Shifty eyes, beady eyes and look of steel demonstrate awareness. Honest person has a tendency to look you straight in the eye when speaking. At least listeners accept it like that.

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People avoid eye contact with other person when an uncomfortable question asked. Try to reduce tension and build trust rather than increase tension. The raising of one eyebrow shows disbelief and two shows surprise. People are classified as right lookers and leftlookers. Right lookers are more influenced by logic and precision, left lookers are found to be more emotional, subjective and suggestible.

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Most powerful feature after voice Establish a bond Look at your audience to convey your sincerity of the message You will increase their attention to you by sufficient eye contact Provides you feedback and helps you relax


SMILING The most strong body language signal to influence our first impression is the smile. It is the most recognized signal everywhere. Smiling is an international language.


VOICE TONE 1- Power &Pitch Let your voice to be heard and avoid the monotone voice Powerful voice tone reflect confidence 2- Pause Take pause to stimulate thinking. Take pause to catch your breath if you talking quickly. 3- Pace Don't speak too quickly. It reflects stress or excitement. Don't speak too slowly as it interferes with communication. Change your pace according to the call.


VOICE Interpretation of voice: Speaking loudly & rapidly: anger or lack of interest in the other person's view. Clear controlled steady voice: confidence. Bouncy &well modulated speech: enthusiasm. Lowered volume& tone: negative attitude. Hesitation: lower confidence.

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Actual words convey only 10% of the message. The other 90% is transmitted by non verbal communication which consists of 40% how it is said and 50% body language.

The Hands:

The Hands Tightly clenched hands usually indicate that the person is experiencing undue pressure. It may be difficult to relate to this person because of his tension and disagreement. Superiority and authority are usually indicated when you are standing and joining your hands behind your back . Rubing gently behind or beside the ear with the index finger or rubbing the eye usually means the other person is uncertain about what you are saying. Leaning back with both hands supporting the head usually indicates a feeling of confidence or superiority.

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Cupping one or both hands over the mouth , especially when talking, may well indicate that the person is trying to hide something Putting your hand to your cheek or stroking your chin generally portrays thinking, interest or consideration. Fingers bent across the chin or below the mouth most often shows critical evaluation

The Arms and Legs:

The Arms and Legs Crossed arms tend to signal defensiveness. They seemingly act as a protective guard against an anticipated attack or a fixed position which the other person would rather not move. Conversely, arms open and extended toward you generally indicate openness and acceptance. Crossed legs tend to seem disagreement. People who tightly cross their legs seem to be saying that they disagree with what you are saying or doing. If the people have tightly crossed legs and tightly crossed arms, their inner attitude is usually one of extreme negativity toward what is going on around them. It may be difficult to get agreement.


POSTURE One of the first key things people notice is how to carry and present your self. Do you walk & stand with confidence? 1-Stomach in 2-Chest out 3-Shoulders back 4-Head up

Postures- Sitting and Walking:

Postures- Sitting and Walking Sitting with your legs crossed and elevated foot moving in a slight circular motion indicates boredom or impatience. Interest and involvement are usually projected by sitting on the edge of the chair and leaning slightly forward. Generally, people who walk fast and swing their arms freely tend to know what they want and to go after that.

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People who walk with their shoulders hunched and hands in their pockets tend to be secretive and critical. They don’t seem to like much of what is going on around them. Dejected people usually scuffle along with their hands in pockets, heads down, and shoulders hunched over. People who are preoccupied or thinking, usually walk with their heads down, hands clasped behind their backs and pace very slowly .

Gestures :

Gestures Humans pride themselves on their seemingly unique ability to verbalize feelings and ideas. While the mouth tells one story, gestures and posture may tell a different story. Gestures should be observed in clusters to provide a more accurate picture of person being observed Each gesture is like a sentence The sum total of postures and gestures relate a non-verbal story.


Gestures 1-One of the body language. 2-Allows individuals to express a variety of feelings and thoughts. Types of gestures: 1-Hand gesture (one or two hands) 2-Head &face gesture (as head shaking)

Why Gestures?:

Why Gestures? Clarify usage of words Dramatize ideas Reduce tension Stimulates audience participation Visible

Types Of Gestures:

Types Of Gestures Descriptive Clarify or enhance a verbal message Emphatic Underscores a verbal message Suggestive Symbols of ideas and emotions Prompting Evoke a desired response

Interpreting Gesture Clusters:

Interpreting Gesture Clusters Certain combinations of gestures are especially reliable indicators of a person’s true feelings. These combinations are clusters. Each gesture is dependent to others, so analysis of a person’s body language is based on a series of signals to ensure that the body language clearly and accurately understood. All the individual gestures fit together to project a common, unified message. When they do not, this means a incongruity. For example: A nervous l a ugh. A laugh generally signal of relaxation. But if there are nervous signals in body language that means the person is trying to escape from an unpleasent situation.

Common Gesture Clusters Openness::

Common Gesture Clusters Openness : Several gestures indicate openness and sincerety . Open hands, unbuttoned coal or collar, leaning slightly forward in the chair, removing coat or jacket, uncrossing arms and legs, moving closer.

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When people are proud of what they have done, they usually show their hands quite openly. When they are not often put their hands into their pockets, or hide back When people show signals of openness that means they are generally beginning very comfortable in your presence which is good.

Common Gesture Clusters Defensiveness::

Common Gesture Clusters Defensiveness : People who are defensive usually have a rigid body, arms or legs tightly crossed, eyes glancing sideways or darting occasionaly , minimal eye contact , lips pursed, fists clenched and downcast head .

Common Gesture Clusters Evaluation::

Common Gesture Clusters Evaluation : Evaluation gestures say that the other person is being thoughtful or is considering what you are saying. Sometimes in a friendly way sometimes in an unfriendly way. Typical evaluation gestures include : tilted head, hand to cheek, leaning forward and chin stroking .

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Sometimes evaluation gestures take on a critical aspect. The body is more drawn back . The hand is to the face but the chin is in the palm of the hand with one finger going up the cheek and the other fingers positioned below the mouth. This is generally an unfavorable gesture.

Slide 41:

To gain time for evaluating the situation people use cigarette or pipe smoking habits, removing eyeglasses. A final negative evaluation gesture is dropping his eyeglasses to the lower bridge of noise and peering over them. This gesture usually causes a negative emotional overreaction in other people.

Suspicion, Secrecy, Rejection, and Doubt:

Suspicion, Secrecy, Rejection, and Doubt These negative emotions are communicated typically by: Sideways glances Minimal or no eye contact Shifting the body away from the speaker Touching or rubbing the nose.

Common Gesture Clusters Readiness:

Common Gesture Clusters Readiness Readiness is related to the goal-oriented high achiever with a concern for getting things done. It communicates dedication to a goal and is usually communicated by sitting forward at the edge of a chair. This may negatively give the appearence of being overly anxious also.

Common Gesture Clusters Nervousness :

Common Gesture Clusters Nervousness Clearing one’s throat, Chain smoking. Covering the mouth with hand, Tapping fingers . Whistling, Jingling pocket change , Fidgeting , Twitching lips or face .

Common Gesture Clusters Boredom or Impatience:

Common Gesture Clusters Boredom or Impatience These unproductive feelings are usually conveyed by the Drumming of fingers Cupping the head in the palm of the hand, Foot swinging Brushing or picking a lint Looking at your watch or the exit.

Common Gesture Clusters Enthusiasm:

Common Gesture Clusters Enthusiasm This is an emotion t hat you love to see in other people and they in you. It is conveyed by A small upper or inward smile , Hands open and arms extended outward , Eyes wide an alert , A lively and bouncy walk , A lively and well-modulated voice.

Do’s and the Don'ts:

Do’s and the Don'ts How do I know as to what I am doing is right or not ……..????

Have eye contact, but don’t stare :

Have eye contact, but don’t stare If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure. If you are not used to keeping eye-contact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you’ll get used to it .

Relax your shoulders :

Relax your shoulders When you feel tense it’s easily winds up as tension in your shoulders. They might move up and forward a bit. Try to relax. Try to loosen up by shaking the shoulders a bit and move them back slightly.

Don’t touch your face :

Don’t touch your face It might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation

Keep your head up :

Keep your head up Don’t keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon

Use your hands more confidently :

Use your hands more confidently Instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face use them to communicate what you are trying to say. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. But don’t use them to much or it might become distracting. And don’t let your hands flail around, use them with some control.

Don’t stand too close :

Don’t stand too close One of the things we learned is that everybody feels uncomfortable by a close-talker. It is embarrassing if the more we move back the more the other person comes forward. Let people have their personal space, don’t invade it.

Don’t fidget :

Don’t fidget Try to avoid, phase out or transform fidgety movement and nervous ticks such as shaking your leg or tapping your fingers against the table rapidly. You’ll seem nervous and fidgeting can be a distracting when you try to get something across. Declutter your movements if you are all over the place. Try to relax, slow down and focus your movements.

Keep a good attitude :

Keep a good attitude Last but not least, keep a positive, open and relaxed attitude. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference.

Slide 56:

You can change your body language but as all new habits it takes a while. Especially things like keeping you head up might take time to correct if you have spent thousands of days looking at your feet. And if you try and change to many things at once it might become confusing and feel overwhelming. BEGIN NOW..... FOR THE BETTER!!!

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