The Body Language Gesture Triangle

A few weeks back, I ran a survey to prove the Body Language Gesture Triangle. Luckily, my survey supported my observations. Random volunteers watched three short clips of different presenters and answered a short survey about their preferences. If this intrigues you to watch the videos, here they are for review!

And the winner is?…

Presenter #2! Thankfully the results were as I suspected. I chose three presenters who had different primary gesture planes.

62.5% of respondents like the presenter in clip (#2)

Presenter #2

where the presenter gestured mostly from the center of the body. This supports the concept of belly gestures. Exposing the center of the body is perceived as more honest and trustworthy as reflected in the comment, “definitely seemed the most confident on stage.”

Second-best was the first video clip.

Presenter #1

The presenter gestured mostly around the chest. This is a more emotionally charged gesture plane. Comments were she seemed, “pained,” “passionate,” and “angry.” This gesture plane is used more often by women than men. Take a look at your next networking event- watch the difference between male gestures and female gestures and you’ll see what I mean.

The least favorite presenter was clip #3.

Presenter #3

Gestures here were the lowest. One survey respondent said she, “seemed a bit closed off and slightly uncomfortable.” Low gestures usually lower our energy and read as less confident.

Take away?

Gesture more from the waist to be most trustworthy and likeable.

Many observers follow hands. Look at the three images for placement of the speaker’s hand. You can clearly see waist, chest and bottom. Moving Image demonstrated the different planes of the body in the 30 Day Challenge. If you missed it, they are Days 3-6.

How can you use this information to improve your communication?

Your gestures should run in a triangle like so:

Body Language Gesture Triangle

When presenting information for meetings, formal presentation or networking, try to keep your gestures at waist level for most of the presentation. Use the chest or head areas of the body for emphasis and to make points stick! Then return to waist level. Use this triangle throughout your talk to ensure enough body language variety for the audience.

Do you represent your company on a regular basis with presentations, meeting facilitation or networking? Being evaluated for how your body language is perceived for simple shifts like gesture placement is a huge help in being more persuasive and profitable. When your teams are better able to focus on what you are saying with congruent voice and body communication- they take the action you want and grow your company exponentially!

Reach out and let us figure out how we can grow your business profits.

Alison Henderson, founder of Moving Image Consulting, is one of 26 Certified Movement Pattern Analysts worldwide. She is on a mission to de-mystify body language and highlight nonverbal communication study as a critical component for business success. Alison has trained the WBAI, NABE, ILCPAS, GFOA, ELITE, NAWIC, financial advisory firms, law firms and other professional service, business and tech organizations.