Do you talk with your hands?
Ha, I don’t mean using sign language! I mean speaking with your mouth, but making gestures with your hands.
I sure do it. Um, rather animatedly.
I never understood why I gesture, because I have been told my gestures do nothing to help along my story telling. In fact, I have been told it makes my stories more confusing. Ha!
But this article (pdf here) I stumbled across when writing this shed some light. It theorizes that one of the reasons we gesture is because it helps us organize our thoughts as we speak. I can believe that. Something about it feels natural and does help me tell a story, even if it doesn’t help the story itself.
The article also suggests that teaching children to gesture when doing math problems could help them learn new problem-solving skills, and says other studies say gesturing could help us remember information and even empathize. Interesting stuff!