Sometimes, the image communicates more than our words. Learn some very useful gestures to use in your next exhibition, in classes or during an important speech.
Gestures to Reinforce the Verbal Language
When the words do not seem to have the impact you are looking for, you can put into practice these 9 gestures useful for public speaking, which will help you to catch your audience in work meetings, when giving classes and seminars, or simply in a meeting of friends. You only need to know what the gestures, according to numerous studies are, reinforce the ideas, denote more cunning, and demonstrate more intelligence without even stating a word.
Although there are numerous studies that analyze the impact of body language on the communicative intention of the speaker, one in particular studied the gestures that have direct and clear meaning in various situations. This study has been of enormous importance for educators because by applying them you can enhance your words and teach your teachings better.
This study was conducted by two (then) students from the University of Goldsmiths, Jasmine Johnson and Alice May Williams, which they called “Critical Hand Gestures ” (” Critical Hand Gestures “), which they repeatedly observed on behalf of their students, teachers. After an exhaustive investigation, the results of his analysis were of great relevance for oratory in educational settings, although they are also very useful in business and discourses within any social field.
“These 9 gestures to reinforce the verbal language can accompany each of your oratorios and talks, and will give more weight to your words.”
9 useful gestures to improve your public speaking
As revealed in the study, these nine gestures are associated with academic environments and, thereby, create the perception (subconscious) of intelligence and safety in the speaker. Keep them in mind in your next oral presentation at school, in a university exam, in a work meeting, or in any conversation with friends:
- The Sweeping (The Bookshelf Sweep). With both hands open and facing left (palms facing out), make an enveloping movement and “drag” the contents to the right and below. This is the ideal gesture to separate topics and to indicate priorities or levels of hierarchy in the exhibition (as if it were different books in a library, which you are moving when you finish detailing them – hence the original name).
- The Critical Whirl: Placing the hand at eye level and towards the front, with the palm facing the ground, turn it clockwise to enunciate contents, list topics as examples, and accelerate the flow of your exposure.
- The Italian Waiter (The Italian Waiter). This entertaining name defines the gesture of the dominant hand, in which the fingers are grouped in front (towards your face, your mouth particularly) and in a shake, they go forward. The gesture punctuates special words in your oratory and helps you demonstrate more strength in your presentation.
- The Academic Muscle (Flexing the Academic Muscle). Imagine that you play the piano with both hands, only in two positions: to the right and to the left. This movement is useful to individualize contents within the same context and denotes mental clarity regarding the exhibition.
- The Point (The Point). With the elbow flexed and the dominant hand closed in a fist, inward, extend the index finger and shake it towards your audience to direct attention to a specific person, place or point. This gesture denotes security.
- The Backhand Slap: Put your non-dominant hand with the palm facing up, and strike it with the back of the other hand to highlight an idea, an important point, or reiterate a concept. This gesture denotes security and authority.
- The Dialectic. This gesture is quite used and can help you demonstrate more intelligence when speaking. Using either of your hands, with your thumb and forefinger as if you were taking a small hourglass, turn your hand as you carry the sand of the clock to either end. The gesture indicates a change or two different points of view in the same idea and denotes breadth of knowledge and security on the subject in question.
- The Tiny Dialectic. Similar to the previous one, but with the thumb and forefinger much closer together (almost joined), the hand can turn or simply move forward, as if you were “putting the tail on the donkey” on a board. The gesture points out the key idea in your presentation.
“As revealed in the study, these nine gestures are associated with academic environments and, thereby, create the perception (subconscious) of intelligence and safety in the speaker.”
- Taking Ideas (The Picking up Ideas). Imagine that you take a pinch of sand with all your fingers and that you release it upwards as if it were a card. This gesture enhances the idea on display and demonstrates specificity and security.
These 9 gestures to reinforce the verbal language can accompany each of your oratorios and talks and will give more weight to your words. Show more intelligence by using these gestures, and you will notice more attention to your audience immediately.