February 10, 2020

Paralinguistics: The science behind your presentation skills

Just For Fun , Seen|Read|Heard , Resources , Public Speaking

At The Buckley School, we tell students every presentation consists of two obvious parts: what you say and how you say it. 

And while it sounds simple, most of us find there are endless opportunities and challenges for combining the two.

In the scientific study of communication, that "how you say it" part is called paralinguistics. We came across a great short video from Tom Scott that explains how linguists study gestures, their categories for types of gestures, and why your hand movements are essential to communication.

If you've ever apologized for talking with your hands, you'll especially enjoy this:

Learn more:

Here's our how-to guide for adding gestures to a speech.

Watch one of our favorite young speakers to see the power of paralinguistics in action.

For basketball fans, here's why we say the sport can teach you a few things about delivery.

For more on the science of paralinguistics (and why you won't need to call Ghostbusters), try this.

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