17 Hand Gestures That Can Improve Your Communication

Hand Gestures That Can Improve Your Communication

When used effectively, hand gestures help you to draw the attention of the listeners. According to a study conducted by Spencer Kelly, associate professor of Psychology, Director of the Neuroscience Program, and co-director of the Center for Language and Brain at Colgate University, gestures and motion can make the listeners more focused and be more aware of the acoustics of speech. 

The study, published by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), points out that when your audience views a hand gesture, their “auditory system expects to also hear speech. But this is not what the researchers found in the case of manual actions on objects.”

Spencer Kelly says “Our results provide a glimpse into this past relationship by showing that gestures still have a tight and perhaps special coupling with the speech in present-day communication. In this way, gestures are not merely add-ons to language – they may actually be a fundamental part of it.”

Moreover, when we use hand gestures while talking, it allows us to communicate faster and more effectively. It also helps the listeners to remember what we have said.

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Hand gestures make communication impactful

By now, we have understood how crucial gestures are for making communication more effective and understandable. But how can using hand gestures make certain speakers more influential? Does this mean gestures can help to change people’s perceptions? Science says yes.

A 2014 study titled ‘How gesture works to change our minds’ by Susan Goldin-Meadow, found that “gestures we see others produce have the potential to change our thoughts.Moreover, gestures, when used properly, can even help learners have a better learning experience. The paper states “Learners are more likely to profit from instruction when it is accompanied by gesture than when that same instruction is not accompanied by a gesture.

But how can hand gestures influence the minds of the audience? Goldin-Meadow adds “Gestures are produced in space and could emerge from visuospatial thinking. Speakers are, in fact, likely to gesture when talking about things that are spatial or imageable and when conveying information that has been acquired visually as opposed to verbally.

She concludes that “gesture promotes transfer of knowledge better than action, and suggests that the beneficial effects gesture has on learning may reside in the features that differentiate it from the action. They not only reflect thought, but they also have the potential to change thought in both listeners and speakers.”

Practice makes perfect

Now that you know which particular hand gestures can help you make your point and influence your audience the way you intend to, make sure you practice your gestures along with your speech.

Our words, along with our gestures and body language can say a lot about who we are. This can not only help to express ourselves effectively, but it can also impact how others perceive us. When we use smart, confident and positive gestures, people become more attentive and focused on hearing what we are saying. It makes us appear more confident, successful and influential. 

How we talk determines how much people want to hear us. And your gestures can make a huge difference in the way you talk. But make sure you don’t go overboard with your gestures.

Go ahead and let your hands speak.

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I highly recommend you check out this video:


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17 Hand Gestures That Can Improve Your Communication
Hand Gestures That Can Improve Your Communication pin
17 Hand Gestures That Can Improve Your Communication
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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts