Want Mind Control Powers: 9 Nonverbal Strategies That Work

You may not know this – but your nonverbal communication plays a big role in how persuasive you are.

That’s right. Your body gestures, movements, tone of voice, touch, distance from the person, eye contact, and physical appearance can make you more or less persuasive.

Here are 9 nonverbal ways to dramatically increase your persuasive power:

1. Touching

There have been countless studies on the power of touch – and its effectiveness on persuasion. Jacob Hornick (1992) studied waiters and waitresses who touched and didn’t touch diners during their meals. Touching not only increased tips significantly, it also caused customers to evaluate the restaurant more favorably. Not surprisingly, attractive waitresses who touched female customers received the highest tips of all. So if you are hideous you might not be able to solely count on touching people as a method persuasive. While I would not recommend this power to be used on professors, I would strongly encourage its use as a tool.

Students accused of cheating are treated with greater leniency when smiling

2. Smiling

There have been dozens of studies showing the persuasive power of smiling; for example: waitresses earn more tips (Gueguen & Fischer-Lokou, 2004), job interviewers create positive impressions (Washburn & Hakel, 1973) and more likely to get the job (Forbes & Jackson, 1980), and even students accused of cheating are treated with greater leniency when smiling (LaFrance & Hecht, 1995). Smiling doesn’t always work in every situation, but it can definitely help you seem more positive and upbeat which often aids in persuasiveness. Use this power when ever needed. It is a timeless remedy for nearly all situations.

3. Mirroring

A lot of people in sales like to use “mirroring” to improve their persuasiveness. The assumption behind “mirroring” is that people like others who are just like them – so if I smile, the sales person should smile; if I laugh, the sales person should laugh. If I chug a beer she will chug a beer. Only kidding.

Note: This powerful persuasion tool can be easily used against you.

4. Lean Forward

People who learn forward tend to be more persuasive than those who don’t – and people who use open body positions (e.g. arms and legs positioned away from body) rather than in closed body positions are also more persuasive (McGinley, LeFevre, & McGinley, 1975). While leaning forward may be more influential when a women does it, this power is not solely based off of an individual bust.

5. Eye Contact

As you probably already know, eye contact helps  you reveal your interest in something or somebody. Well, it is also a good way to make yourself more persuasive. In a university research study, they found that beggars who were able to establish eye contact with strangers (and made legitimate requests) were more likely to get money from that person (Robinson, Seiter, & Acharya, 1992). Interestingly, lack of eye contact has also shown to be successful when making illegitimate requests since it makes the person seem more humble or embarrassed (Kleinke, 1980).

When To Make Eye Contact

  • Requesting Time Off From Work
  • Asking Someone Out
  • Setting Ground Roles With Your Roommate
  • Asking For Extension On Your Paper
When Not To Make Eye Contact
  • With The Professor When They Need Answers To A Question You Don’t Know
  • Religious Fanatics In The Quad

6. Distance

Your geographical location to someone can increase your persuasive power. In a study by Baron and Bell (1976), diners in a cafeteria were approached by an experimenter and asked to volunteer for a survey for a period of 30 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes. The experimenter made requests of diners either 12 to 18 inches away or 3 to 4 feet away. Results showed that diners volunteered for longer surveys when approached by closer distances. This means if you want the professor to call on you sit closer to the front. It also means if you want to ask for an extension on your paper,  make contact and lean in so that you are only 4 inches from your professors face. (I am only joking…please don’t do this)

While your mom may like your foul breath and crocks, I assure you no one else does!

7. Dress for Success

Research shows that what we wear can greatly impact our credibility and status (Burgoon, Buller & Woodall, 1966). This includes our grooming, hair length, cosmetics, etc (Atkins & Kent 1988). That means you need to shower, shave and wear something nice before interviews, dates, and group meetings. While your mom may like your foul breath (see Halitosis) and crocks, I assure you no one else does.

8. Talk Faster

Miller, Maruyama, Beaber, and Valone (1976) found that speeches delivered at fast speeds were more persuasive than those at slow or moderate speeds (perhaps because persuaders who speak faster appear more competent and knowledgeable). Faster speeches also have less scrutiny (Smith and Shaffer, 1995). In other words, you sound dumb when you pause 30 times to say ‘umm’, ‘like’ and ‘uhhh’.

9. Use Hand Movements


Using hand movements encourages attention and retention in your persuasion attempt. Woodall and Folger (1981) found that people recalled 34% of a verbal message when accompanied by hand gestures, compared to only 11%. And Saigh (1981) found that the more teachers gesture, the more their students learn. This can also work in reverse. Be sure to make hand gestures during presentations in class and interviews. I don’t think moving yours like Busta Rhymes is necessary but subtle body language speaks volumes.

Hopefully, some of these strategies work for you the next time you want to Professor X your professor.

inspired by studenthacks

By Maximillian Garland| Bright Futura Columnist

more interview tips here

5 Comments on “Want Mind Control Powers: 9 Nonverbal Strategies That Work

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Strangest College Degrees: Hobbies vs Degrees - Bright Futura

  2. Does the observation of a victim help the processor understand and read the victim more better, such as when the victim is lying.

  3. Great article …

    Hi jesse ..
    Glad to find someone like you ..
    Can you make a video, what should be touched sexually or more tips on talking dirty and stimulate the minds of women. Thank you ..

  4. Great article every important point is mentioned in it. If anyone wants to control his mind then this article has the best strategies to control your mind I’m impressed that the effort you put into this article is amazing. Looking forward to reading your upcoming articles.

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