Cover page by Leigh Thompson, Jerry Weissman, Terry J. Fadem, Stephen Robbins, Robert Follett

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Signs and Signals

36. Hand Gestures and Other Physical Signals

Body language, hand gestures, and facial expressions are all signals. The signals you send are as important as the words you use.

Pointing, for example, is a key signal to people. Sean Hannity, a television news issues interviewer on Fox News, has what I like to refer to as an “attack finger.”[22] During one interview, the person actually moved away from him every time Hannity pointed during questioning. The gentleman reacted as if he thought the finger was loaded.

Hands play a major role; open palms up, palms down, fist pounding, prayerful hands, folded hands—just be aware that your hand signals are consistent with whatever question is being asked.

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