Crazy Facts About Hand Gestures:
- You’re born to speak with your hands. Researchers have found that infants who use more hand gestures at 18-months old have greater language abilities later on. Hand gestures speak to great intelligence. Check out this adorable baby using hand gestures to the Itsy Bitsy Spider:
- Hand gestures make people listen to you. Spencer Kelly, associate professor of Psychology and co-director of the Center for Language and Brain at Colgate University found that gestures make people pay attention to the acoustics of speech. Kelly said, “Gestures are not merely add-ons to language – they may actually be a fundamental part of it.”
- We can’t help it. Hand gestures come to us naturally. Spencer even found that blind people use hand gestures when speaking with other blind people.
- Gesturing helps you access memories. Using hand gestures while you speak not only helps others remember what you say, it also helps you speak more quickly and effectively!
- Nonverbal explanations help you understand more. One study found that forcing children to gesture while they explained how to solve math problems actually helped them learn new problem-solving strategies.