Presentation & Delivery: Body Language & Gesture

In-depth rubric explanations, examples, and video exemplars.


Highest Quality Rating (3 points)

Written Example: Presenters use body language to emphasize specific points or communicate ideas.

When speaking presenters may use their hands to stress a point, orient their body towards their visual aids, or use gestures to convey meaning when appropriate.  

Mid-Quality Rating (2 points)

Written Example: Body language does not add nor subtract from the message–if you did not notice body language give rating of 2.

The students stand straight but somewhat stiff and their body language is not a noticeable part of their presentation.

Lowest Quality Rating (1 point)

Written Example: Body language is distracting or in other ways distracts from the presentation.

Presenters over use their hands, are slouched, have hands in pockets, or move their bodies in ways that take away from the content of the presentation.

Video Example: Throughout this presentation body language and gesturing was used to support the points students were making. This particular speaker moves with energy across the stage to encourage crowd participation while asking them to reflect on their own experiences with school lunches. He also moves his hand forward in a “push” motion when mentioning the pushing of a healthier foods act in the district, using body language to emphasize his team’s argument.

Video Example: In this presentation, the body language of the presenters does not add or or distract from the presentation. Although some students slouch or lean at different times, overall the body language is neutral and neither serves nor detracts from the presentation.

Video Example: In this video the speaker turns away from the city council on multiple occasions. Additionally, the speaker is fidgeting throughout her time–making hand, body, and head motions that are distracting from her speech.