The How to Speak so People Listen Dictionary Part 5: Posture

by Mike Clayton  - December 4, 2013

How to Speak so People Listen is filled with specific concepts and models.� To make a valuable resource for readers, and to introduce non-readers to some of the core concepts of the book, I have created a dictionary.� As a bonus, this dictionary also contains additional terms and ideas that are not contained in How to Speak so People Listen. It is in 16 parts and has around 100 entries. If you like dictionaries -�take a look too at The Yes/No Dictionary based on my earlier book, The Yes/No Book.

Part 5: Posture

Good posture is essential if you want to hold people’s attention and not distract them, and if you want to look confident in what you are saying. Sadly, there are more words for poor posture than good, so this edition of the How to Speak so People Listen Dictionary may be a little more humorous and tongue-in-cheek that the others.


Crossed feet (noun); Not only does it look precarious (or that you are in a hurry to get to a bathroom); it is unstable. Women do this a lot. Feet hip-width apart is stable and looks good. If you want to come across as more dominant, go for shoulder width.

Cuffs and collars (noun); Playing with your cuffs or your collar and tie for men, or your bracelet or necklace for women will make you look nervous.

Fig leaf (noun); Standing with your hands together in front of your genital area.

Hand-cuffs (noun); Holding your hands rigidly together to still a fidget is just as distracting as fidgeting.

Pockets (noun); Hands in pockets work for some speakers, but not all. If you must do it, empty your pockets first and keep your hands still inside them.

Five Poor Speaker Postures - from How to Speak so People Listen

The How to Speak so People Listen Dictionary Part 6: Physiology

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