two people speaking

We all know that body language sends a strong message; sometimes stronger than what we’re actually saying aloud. And that means that we can control—with our bodies, not our voices—how people perceive us.

So, here are 11 things to know about the messages you’re sending and the ways that you can use those signals to your advantage.

  1. The first thing to know is that expressing emotion is more complicated than the smile or frown on your face—it’s about how you move your entire body. (TIME)

  2. If you want to use body language to convey success, there are four major fixes you can make toward doing so, from the way you stand to how you use your hands. (99U)

  3. And it turns out that your hands can do a lot of the speaking for you—sometimes even a whole lot better than your mouth can. (Science of People)

  4. If you’re having trouble expressing and establishing confidence at work, try using some of these non-verbal cues. (Forbes)

  5. So, you don’t have to exude total determination with your body language all the time. But these are some gestures and postures you should always avoid. (Marc and Angel)

  6. Public speaking training professional Dr. Gary Genard says these negative movements can really send mixed signals to an impressionable audience. (The Genard Method)

  7. Ever been told that crossing your arms makes you seem unfriendly or defensive? Turns out it’s true. Instead, your physical open-ness can show people when you’re happy, open-minded, or confident. (Buffer)

  8. You can also watch out for physical cues to tell when other people are lying to you. (Reader’s Digest)

  9. To convey empathy and create emotional closeness, mirror the person you’re communicating with. (The Motion Machine)

  10. While smiling helps you look more friendly and approachable, there are psychological effects to the different natures of showing your teeth. (Psychology Today)

  11. And finally, eye contact is everything, so make sure you’re not initiating any awkward staring. (The Daily Muse)