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3 Important Guide to Hand Gestures!

Your hands are great assets when presenting a speech. Movements of the hands are called gestures and they help your audience to visualise your points better. However, have you ever thought about how your hands and what you do with them when you speak in front of an audience?

There are several things to take note on whenever you use hand gestures on stage. Here are some do’s and don’ts for hand gestures when public speaking that will help you decide what to do, and what not to do the next time you speak.

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1. Pay attention to where your hands are and what you’re doing with them.

Don’t appear scared with your hands by stuffing them in your pocket, hide them behind your back or run them through your hair. If you use distracting hand gestures when presenting your speech on the stage, you will prevent your audience from understanding and following what you’re saying. Instead, be purposeful with both of your hands. Let your audience see your hands and let your hands speak.

a. If you are talking about a big house, move your hands far apart to illustrate just how big that house is, you can also create tiny shapes to visualise the basic structure of the house.

b. If you are explaining two choices, cup your left hand to help the audience “see” choice 1, and then contrast that by cupping your right hand to help the audience “see” choice 2.

While some people are used to “talking with their hands,” most are still awkward to implement hand gestures in their speech. As you rehearse your presentation, practice these kinds of movements with your hands until they become smooth and spontaneous. Start to become conscious of your hand gestures when you speak in public so you can help your audience understand, process, and remember what you’re saying.

2. Keep your hands visible to the audience.

Make sure your hands do not disappear from the audience’s vision. The lack of gestures will push your audience to assume or figure out where your hands are instead of what you are saying. This can be distracting for them and soon enough, they will not catch what you said in your speech.

In general, your hands should “speak” to the audience and they should be easily seen by the public. Make sure to roughly limit your hands from your shoulders to right above your hips. Both your arms and your hands should remain visible to your audience to make them understand what you’re doing with them.

3. Use your hands in a manner that conveys confidence.

Audience can tell when you appear scared on stage, mostly this contributed from the way you use your hand gestures or not. Don’t move your hands around meaninglessly because that tells the audience that you are nervous or worried and possibly unsure about what you are saying.

You can use your hands to confidently emphasize a definite point you are trying to make. This technique is effective when used, but not overused. So, only use it for the most crucial couple of points or truths. If you punctuate every point you’re making along the way, you’ll not only lose credibility but also begin to confuse your audience.

Lastly, consider what you’ll do with your hands. Being aware that your hands can speak and then thinking deliberately about precisely what you want your hands to say is the first step towards mastering hand gestures. If you can use your hands in purposeful ways that enhance your message with more meaning, you will be more successful in winning over your audience the next time you speak in public.

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