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10 Body Language Blunders to Avoid on the Job


September 23, 2009

9. Wild Gestures

It’s natural to try to communicate with your hands and arms when speaking. Just don’t get carried away. Only use your body language for emphasis when you really want to accentuate a point.

One of the worst gestures you can make is to point. No one likes being pointed at or having a finger wagged in their face.

Better ways to use your hands?

  1. The Karate Chop. Hand flattened with one or two gentle downward movements.
  2. The Bill Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton was a master of communication. Clinton often emphasized his points with his hands, but he seldom pointed. Instead, he made a fist then moved his thumb over his index finger. He was still pointing, but with just the nub of his thumb extended, it was not aggressive like a full index finger is.