In the brand-new Mastering Communication Program, we uncover five essential hand gestures and how you can effectively apply them when building rapport or giving an emotionally charged presentation.
These hand gestures known as the ‘Satir Categories’, were derived by an American psychotherapist named Virginia Satir in the 1970s. She was known for her leading approach to family therapy and her understanding of the communication patterns within a family unit.
She realised that your body can equally aid or contradict your message. You may be saying one thing but your body betrays your real thoughts. In particular, she noticed this in the use of the hands.
The five ‘Satir Categories’ are specific non-verbal patterns of communication. Used correctly they can help to support your message. Brilliant communicators use them regularly to great effect.
One of the defining ‘Satir Categories’ is The Thinker Gesture. Detailed below is a guide as to how you can employ it in your next presentation:
The Thinker Gesture
- Posture: Cross your arms and then raise one arm to rest your hand onto your chin in the classic contemplative pose seen to the left.
- Voice: Slow down your speech and try to speak with a slightly deeper pitch in your voice than normal
Gesture Demonstrates: Contemplation, consideration, respect, thoughtfulness and reflection
Best Used: To show someone you are considering what they are saying. As a good diffusion tactic when challenged by the audience or it can be used to separate your message from your emotions or to buy time, by pausing to reflect.
Introducing hand gestures such as this will automatically enhance your communication by slowing it down and creating space for thought in your presentation, not just for you but also for your audience.
To absorb your message people need time to reflect, so if you’re continually moving to your next point without pause, they could miss the value of your communication.
If you want to learn exactly how to captivate your audience when you present, check out the Colin James Method’s Mastering Communications Program. It will teach you the skills you need to take your professional achievements to the next level.