Here’s the Thing…. about non-verbal communication

If you haven’t watched “Wednesday” yet, put it on your priority list, because Thing can teach you a lot about non-verbal communication. Not only is Thing a handful, but he is also just a hand without a body.


So how does a hand express itself? I mean, hands don’t talk. Or do they?


Thing in 2022 takes on a more nuanced character in Netflix’s Wednesday. Thing was tasked by Gomez and Morticia to watch over Wednesday when she went to her new high school, Nevermore. Communicating clearly with her was important.


Thing is a compassionate, multi-layered character even though he has no facial micro-expressions to read. He knew how to tell his story through pause, pace, tapping, and motion, which built trust.


You have to hand it to the movie creators. When you almost start crying when it looks like Thing is not going to survive an attack, you know they not only understand the importance of non-verbal communication, they know how to create synergy in other ways.

So how did they get us to love and relate to Thing so much?


Actors Jenna Ortega (Wednesday) and Thing (Victor Dorobantu) worked out how to communicate on the day, going with the flow while shooting each scene. They understood each other perfectly through each other’s mannerisms.


Victor Dorobantu is a hand actor (obviously) a magician, illusionist and creature performer. Victor used his hand the same way he would have used his body to show his emotions to get his message across. If it felt right that’s what they did.


So what does this all have to do with your presentation skills? Inherently our bodies know the right body language to match the situation we’re in. It happens automatically.


When speaking, our body language, or non-verbal communication, must be in sync with our words. If it’s not, the audience will know something ‘isn’t quite right’, but they may not understand why the intended message isn’t resonating with them.

For example, if you want to convey sincerity, you can do this with the right stance without saying a single word. This is the power of persuasive and congruent body language.


I call this being in touch with ‘Stanley’. Stanley is the voice inside our heads that’s saying… ”something doesn’t add up here but I don’t know what it is.”


Often our bodies give out signals that we’re unaware of. If you’re wondering why your message doesn’t seem to be getting through to the people who matter, it could be time to be transformed by an experienced speaking coach to ensure your non-verbal communication is in sync with your message.


Hands down it could be the best investment you ever make in yourself.

Fun Facts

  • Jenna Ortega didn’t blink during one scene. Director Tim Burton loved the intrigue it added to her character and asked her to do this in all scenes.
  • Christina Ricci who acted in the role of Marilyn Thornhill also played the role of Wednesday in the 1991 version of The Addams Family.
  • Jenna Ortega learnt how to play the cello and master the art of fencing to nail her role as Wednesday.