7 Hand Gestures That Make You look Smart

The Dialectic


This hand gesture proved to be particularly popular with all sorts of thinkers. It’s an unaware twitch that says “listen to me seriously”.

The Italian Waiter


Use when you want to make a cultural observation. Position hand towards your mouth, and shake wrist back and forth. Incorporate more arm as you become more proved by your own point. To connect with a larger audience, extend both arms outwards from your body.

The Tiny Dialectic


This one is similar as “The Dialectic”. You use it if you want to make a very fine distinction. Use the same gesture but with thumb and forefinger much closer to each other. Bring hand toward your eyes for closer inspection. This gesture is handy to use when person wants to unpick specific detail.

The Critical Whirl


This gesture says “I’ve read too much Marx and I can’t get my words out”. To use this hand gesture, follow the picture – circle your hand clockwise in a small but fast motion towards the listeners. Speed up and repeat until idea unpacked.

The Backhand Slap


Use this hand gesture if you want to repeat something you already said. Slap one hand into another. Use as a reinforcing signal when critical opponent seems unresponsive.

The Point


Extend forefinger in a controlled but unambiguous manner. Use this gesture to direct everyone’s look towards a particular individual or object.

Picking Up Small Ideas


Reach down towards made-up pile of sand, pinch just a little bit, lift with closed fingers and return to start position. Repeat up to 3 times. Use this hand gesture only when seated in front of an audience.


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