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We tend to see gesticulation as a behavioral quirk, but research shows these hand movements actually assist our mental processes.
A study published last year found that people were better able to explain math problems and simultaneously remember a string of letters if they were allowed to gesture meaningfully as they spoke [because] gesturing probably makes the math part of the task less mentally taxing by externalizing and visualizing relevant information, thereby freeing up cognitive resources for the memory challenge.
As a bonus, gesturing while you speak won’t only aid your thought processes, it likely will also help you make a good impression. Research has shown that presenters are judged as more effective and competent when they make hand gestures compared with when they keep their hands still. Like tone, volume, and pacing of your speech, gestures are another tool to punctuate what you’re saying. Gestures can also help the audience understand and remember what you said. The key thing here is to ensure your gestures are meaningfully related to what you’re saying, and not just random hand flapping.