The Effect of Gesture on Persuasive Speech

Judith Peters, Marieke Hoetjes


Speech perception is multimodal, with not only speech, but also gesture presumably playing a role in how a message is perceived. However, there have not been many studies on the effect that hand gestures may have on speech perception in general, and on persuasive speech in particular. Moreover, we do not yet know whether an effect of gestures may be larger when addressees are not involved in the topic of the discourse, and are therefore more focused on peripheral cues, rather than the content of the message. In the current study participants were shown a speech with or without gestures. Some participants were involved in the topic of the speech, others were not. We studied five measures of persuasiveness. Results showed that for all but one measure, viewing the video with accompanying gestures made the speech more persuasive. In addition, there were several interactions, showing that the performance of the speaker and the factual accuracy of the speech scored high especially for those participants who not only saw gestures but were also not involved in the topic of the speech.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-194

Cite as: Peters, J., Hoetjes, M. (2017) The Effect of Gesture on Persuasive Speech. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 659-663, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-194.


@inproceedings{Peters2017,
  author={Judith Peters and Marieke Hoetjes},
  title={The Effect of Gesture on Persuasive Speech},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={659--663},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-194},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-194}
}