- Vanessa Van Edwards: In our study, we found that talking with your hands might be the best power gesture you have -- and no one knows this better than President Donald Trump
Vanessa Van Edwards is a behavioral investigator and author of the book Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. She runs a human behavior research lab called the Science of People. The views expressed in this commentary are solely hers.
(CNN)Immediately after he was sworn into office on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump prepared to address the United States of America for the first time as President. Before he uttered a single word into the microphone, he already had signaled to the nation that his optimism about the future. How?
- Pointing at the audience. When someone points at us we pay attention. This is a signaling gesture and makes people pay attention.
- A-okay. With this gesture, the forefinger and thumb touch to create a circle and the other three fingers are straight. In the United States this indicates 'everything is fine' or 'all is well.' It is a subtly positive gesture.
- Pointing up. He frequently pointing toward the sky. This could subtly indicate, along with his words, that he is aiming to achieve big goals and that he wants things to improve.
- The fist. In several instances, Trump used a fist gesture -- this typically indicates strength and resolve. This is because we tend to make a fist when we are angry or determined.
- Thumbs up. Trump frequently gave the audience a thumbs up gesture. Again, in the United States this conveys optimism.