IELTS Energy 52: Four Nonverbal Ways to Bump Up Your Speaking Score

IELTS Speaking test body language

Today you’ll get four nonverbal ways to bump up your IELTS speaking score!

A few weeks ago we had Mark Bowden, body language expert on the AEE podcast and he told us that we need to know what messages our nonverbal communication is sending to others.

Your nonverbal communication will affect your scores on the speaking test.

Why? We all make subconscious judgments and when your body language is sending a message that you lack confidence or that you aren’t trustworthy, this may bring down your score because examiners are human.

Four ways to bump up your speaking score:

  • Smile consistently– it puts people at ease and makes them trust you.
  • Don’t slouch– don’t sit with your shoulders hunched over, with your head down. This does not make you look confident. Imagine there is a line going from the back of your neck to the ceiling.
  • Don’t sit with your legs wide open- This looks very rude for both men and women. If you are sitting up straight, this probably won’t happen. Crossing your legs is ok.
  • Use open gestures- Mark told us that when we have our hands open, out in front of us and at navel height, the person trusts us because they can see our hands. That makes us appear to be a safe, trustworthy person. On the Speaking test, don’t hide your hands in your lap. Don’t have them out of view of the examiner. Don’t put your elbows on the table, it’s informal. Use your hands to give emphasis to your speech. Use your hand gestures to show more meaning. This will help your pronunciation sound more natural too.


Here is another speaking test hint!


Have you used any of these nonverbal gestures on the speaking test?

Leave us your comments below!

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  • Learn 4 ways to boost your confidence through body language in IELTS speaking test :
    1) Smiling consistently to feel relaxed and be trustworthy
    2) Slouching gives a bad impression
    3) Using hand gestures naturally and openly
    4) Opening your legs while sitting is rude

    Nonverbal communication is the key to your IELTS success !