Steepling Hand Gesture (Body Language)

Steepling Hand Gesture (Body Language)

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The steepling gesture is nonverbal communication that has many meanings. In this article, we will take a look into why people steeple the history of the steep and how the hand steep looks to others.

The steepling hand gesture is a very common gesture that is often used to convey confidence, authority, or knowledge. It is also a very popular gesture for public speakers and politicians. The steepling hand gesture is done by placing the fingertips of both hands together in front of the chest with the fingers pointing upward.

Pressing five fingers together while giving a public speech or talking is a complicated move and displays a certain level of control.

Most body language experts recommend using the steeple gesture when speaking to large groups of people or at conferences because it indicates that you are in control and feel confident.

Use the hand-steepling technique and you will look confident and in control. Get it wrong and you can come across as aggressive or arrogant.

What is hand steepling?

The steeple gesture is a symbol of confidence that is common in most cultures. Simply bring your fingertips together, then spread your index fingers and thumbs apart to make the steeple shape. The steeple hand position signifies that you feel confident and in control. The lower the steeple gesture, the less confident the person tends to be.

Where did the term hand steepling come from?

The term hand steeple derives from the shape of a church steeple. When we place our fingers in a steeple-like shape, it represents an author figure within many different cultures. The same gesture implies authority.

What does steepling mean in body language? 

Steepling is a nonverbal communication gesture that is done by placing the tips of the fingers of both hands together in an upright position, like the shape of a steeple. It is often seen as a sign of thinking or concentration.

What kind of people use steepling?

We tend to see these body language cues in people who want to seem authoritative. Like police officers, priests, imams, politicians, royalty, and CEOs and directors of the business. You will also see TV presenters use this gesture from time to time. We tend to see this when a person thinks they have something important to say.

What does reverse steepling of the hands mean in body language?

The reverse steepling of the hands is a sign of stress. This gesture is often seen in those who are trying to control their emotions but have been unsuccessful. The fingers are stacked one on top of the other and the thumbs touch at their tips. The person’s hands move down as they become less confident in what they are trying to communicate.

What are the movements of the hands when a person is steepling?

If a person starts talking about something with their hands steepled and the hands move up or down as they cover a certain topic, then you know this is an area of stress. It’s an area you should definitely look into more.

That’s why it’s important to understand a person’s baseline before accessing their body language to learn more about how to baseline someone. Check out this article for more information.

Can steepling be seen as aggressive in body language?

Yes, steepling can be interpreted as a sign of aggression or arrogance. You can usually tell this if you see an arrogant smile or look on someone’s face when they’re steeping with their hands.

If you choose to use steeping as a power play, make sure you understand why you are doing this in a conversation and understand that it can become a negative body language cue very quickly if done wrong.

How can you use the steepling gesture to communicate confidence? 

The steepling gesture is often used to communicate confidence, as it conveys a sense of authority and control. When using this gesture, it is important to maintain eye contact with your audience and keep your hands close together to create a strong, powerful image.

Understand Why the Hand Steeple is So Important in Public Speaking.

One of the key components of public speaking is showing confidence in your speech and being able to engage your audience. The hand steeple is a great way to do this because it provides a sense of stability and power, which can translate into more confidence when speaking. In addition, it can be used as an excellent tool for emphasizing points.

Alternative Source Information.


The steepling gesture is a way to communicate confidence by placing the tips of your fingers together in an upright position. To use this gesture effectively, keep your hands close together and make eye contact with your audience. Other confident body language gestures include maintaining eye contact, keeping a straight posture, and having a firm handshake. If you have enjoyed this article check out body language of the hands here.

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor Body Language Expert