Steepling is a powerful nonverbal behavior which occurs when the fingers are pressed towards the sky in an almost church-like steeple or prayer position. An example of when you may see the steepling gesture is when somebody believes they have the right answer as steepling tends to be associated with a sign of confidence.
Steepling as a sign of confidence is often seen in political circles. You will often see Barack Obama steepling as a way of conveying confidence as he speaks and listens. Winston Churchill and Mikhail Gobachev were also great proponents of steepling.
Have a Go Yourself
Today, if you want to get your point across to a friend or co-worker, whip out the steeple. This silent gesture conveys the message that you’re confident in your delivery and you have wisdom to share. It will also make you feel more confident, and plants a seed in the receiver’s brain that you indeed know what you’re talking about, even if you don’t.
A word of warning though use the steeple gesture sparingly as too much steepling, and at the wrong time (synchronisation) can make you appear smug and pompous.
Body language expert and former FBI Agent, Joe Navarro, talks about the power of steepling in nonverbal communications.