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5 Winning Moves To Master

Subtle body language definitely speaks volumes about you, more than words ever could, and wins people in your favor.

In addition to what you say and how you say it, the stuff that doesn't come out of your mouth plays a huge part in your charm. While you're listening intently, telling a spellbinding story, or otherwise captivating a crowd, you're entirely inside your own head. But, your audience is registering the whole package that is you, which is why you need to make your body friendly. From the volume of your voice to where you situate yourself in a room, unconscious cues can say a lot. Here's how you can win favor without mouthing a word.

1. Stand in the hot spot.

"The most alluring area of any room is the place where your eyes naturally linger when you're surveying the scene; it's not the bar or the buffet. Maybe it's close to a well-lit piece of art or elevated, like on a staircase," says image consultant Debra Lindquist. Positioning yourself there with a smile creates a mystique. "I call it the Mona Lisa effect," says Lindquist. "Standing solo in the hot spot with a self-assured grin piques people's curiosity and draws them to you."

2. Show your palms.

Jamming your mitts into your pockets or crossing your arms is conversation kryptonite. Hiding your hands can send a subliminal signal that you're closed off and not interested in interacting. Instead, hold them together in front of your body and flip your palms open (like a book) as you speak. This sign language says you're receptive and friendly. "On a primitive level, your body is telling people 'I'm not a threat. There's nothing in my hands. I have nothing to hide,'" says Nicholas Boothman, author of How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less.

3. Turn down the volume.

In a noisy setting, say, in a crowded bar or at a lively dinner table, it's natural to overcompensate by raising your voice to be heard. But people reflexively veer from someone who blabs at full blast. "On the flip side, we tend to lean in closer and pay more attention to someone who lowers his or her tone, because it creates a kind of intimacy that's enticing," says Lindquist. So when speaking, tilt your chin slightly upward to allow your voice to project up and out. Then lay it on your listener as if you were telling him a secret.

4. Nod your head.

This universal signal for yes is a concrete visual that people gravitate toward because it demonstrates agreement, understanding, and curiosity—all positive feedback that subliminally strokes egos. "You're telling the speaker 'Go on. Talk more. I like what you're saying,'" says Boothman. And, we already know how much people like to hear themselves talk. The key here, though, is not to overdo it. (Repeat after us: "I am not a bobble-head doll.") Gently nod your noggin only at key points in the conversation...like when someone says something particularly interesting or clever.

5. Sync up your moves.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, which is why replicating someone's movements, from the way she gesticulates with her hands when she talks to how she holds a drink, can be so bewitching. "This type of mirroring is a nonverbal way of communicating 'We're equals,'" says Boothman. "You're putting yourself on the same wavelength as the other person, which is what makes her feel comfortable and want to be around you."

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