Using Steepling to Unlock the Power of Body Language

Filed under: Hypnosis Training

This Increases Your Credibility

by Mike Mandel

What if I told you that you could instantly project confidence and authority, without saying a single word?

Ever wondered how some people just seem to command the room the moment they step in? It’s not just what you say, but how you say it—with the subtle power of your body language.

Today, we’re diving into one of the most effective yet overlooked tools: steepling. Mastered by greats like Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, this simple hand gesture does more than enhance your message—it elevates your entire presence.

Ready to find out how steepling can transform your communication and boost your credibility? Let’s get started.

My Personal Journey With Steepling

I have known about steepling for years, but it was a few years ago that I began to apply it systematically. It started when I was presenting in Hollywood, at an event where former FBI agent Joe Navarro was also teaching about body language.

Since then, steepling has been my go-to, whenever I am teaching or giving any sort of presentation to any group, large or small. If anyone other than an actual FBI agent had recommended steepling, I would have been very doubtful. But Navarro has credibility and prestige, so I began using it immediately, with excellent results. I discovered that my keynote speeches gained even more power, as the audience became more locked on what I was teaching.

Understanding Steepling

Steepling is a hand position you intentionally adopt when presenting, or in a meeting, or even just an important conversation.

To steeple, you place your hands at about chest level or slightly higher, with your palms facing each other and your fingers touching. It gets its name from its similarity to a church steeple.Why is Steepling so Effective?

  • Conveys Confidence: When you steeple your hands, you're non-verbally telling the room that you are confident in your stance. This simple act puts weight behind your words, making you more persuasive and authoritative.
  • Signals Competence: This gesture is often unconsciously associated with strong, competent leadership. It’s a visual shorthand that says, "I know what I'm talking about."
  • Enhances Perceived Control: In situations where asserting dominance is crucial, such as in negotiations or critical business meetings, steepling helps convey that you are in control of the discussion and are not easily swayed.

How to Use Steepling Effectively

It’s a good idea to steeple in high-stakes environments, such as business negotiations, job interviews, or critical meetings. For example, during a negotiation, using steepling can reinforce your position and show that you are not easily swayed by opposition.

However, steepling isn’t just for those in power positions. Anyone can use it to enhance their presence in a room. Whether you're a student in a classroom, a professional at a conference, or even a participant in a casual meeting, steepling can help you project authority and credibility.

Here’s how you can start integrating steepling into your interactions:

  • Begin by consciously adopting the steepling position during low-pressure situations to get comfortable with it.
  • As you gain comfort, use steepling in more critical interactions where you wish to exhibit confidence and control
  • Remember, the key to effective steepling is subtlety; it should feel natural and not forced.
Mike Mandel Steepling

Some Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overuse: Steepling too much can make it seem as if you're trying too hard to assert dominance, which might lead to negative perceptions. Like all powerful tools, when used wisely and sparingly, steepling can significantly enhance your communication prowess.

  • Finger Tapping: Avoid tapping your fingers while steepling. This can indicate impatience or nervousness, which undermines the confidence you're trying to project.

  • Height and Duration: Keep your hands at a natural level—neither too high nor too low. Also, avoid holding the steeple for too long, as it might start to look forced or come across as arrogant.

Listening and Responding

It’s also effective to subtly shift your hands to a lower position when someone else is speaking. You can also tilt your hands down toward the person who has the floor. This sends the message that you are listening intently, and are someone who values other people’s opinions. Then when it’s your turn to speak, raise your hands back to chest height to reset your dominant position.

Harness the Power of Steepling

Once you give steepling a shot, you’ll quickly see that it’s much more than just a body language trick; it’s a technique that can help you convey confidence and authority naturally in practically any human interaction. So whether you're looking to make a strong impression in a professional setting or simply want to improve your communication skills, incorporating steepling into your repertoire can be a game changer. It won’t turn you into a world-class speaker or presenter overnight. But it can give you a big push past your competition.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to assert your presence, remember the power of steepling. It’s a very simple but highly effective way to enhance the perception of your personal power. But remember not to overdo it! With steepling, like many other things in life, a little goes a long way.

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Ready to take your communication skills to the next level? Join us at the Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy (MMHA) where you can learn not only about effective body language skills but also gain mastery over many other techniques that will enhance your persuasive powers and leadership abilities. 

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