July 3, 2013 at 11:02 AM ET
If you had to sit on your hands while telling a story – could you get your point across?
Some people definitely could not, and this morning, TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe explored some of the reasons why.
Hand gestures help us think, and they also help the listener understand what we’re trying to say, explained Tanya Raymond, a body language expert. Those of us who are prone to gesticulation are seen as friendlier than people who don’t talk with their hands, who are often perceived as colder or less friendly.
“You’re seen as likable,” says Janine Driver, a body language expert and author of the book “You Can’t Lie to Me.”
But rein it in a little bit to keep your chatty hands from driving your friends and family crazy. Keep your hands within the frame of your body, and don't go above the shoulder area, Driver advises. “The higher the gesture, the more out-of-control you look,” she told the anchors this morning.
We also talked to Elena Nicoladis, a researcher at the University of Alberta who studies hand gestures, for some more quick facts.