Controlling Your Body Language

The first step to managing your own body language is to forget about your body language and focus on your intent. What do you want to happen? Focus on that first, says Nick Morgan.

The gesture actually comes before conscious thought. So if you try to think consciously about a gesture, you’ll start it too late, and it will come out of sequence with your words. You’ll look like one of those coached politicians who gesture awkwardly a split second after they talk, undercutting any belief in what they’re saying. It simply doesn’t work very well—without hours of practice, at least—to try to reverse this sequence consciously, speeding up your gestures and slowing down your speech. The better way to get this done is to focus on something else—your intent—and let the gestures take care of themselves.

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