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Using Gestures in your Presentation

Gestures are a great way of adding extra emphasis to a point in a speech. When you’re passionate about a subject, gestures can non-verbally convey the purpose and intent behind your words. Many speakers seem to think using gestures is a matter of waving your hands in front of an audience. Some speakers have incredibly bad habits such as fidgeting nervously without realizing that they are doing it. If you have a habit of doing either of these, try practicing your presentation and attempt to iron out these bad habits.

If you find gestures difficult, try these tips:

  • Practice your gestures in front of a mirror. Try simple ones first, such as counting points on your fingers or even painting shapes.
  • Make sure that your gestures come across as natural. There is nothing as irritating as overdramatic gestures which will eventually take away the impact of the spoken word.
  • Never put both hands in your pockets during any speech. Keep at least one hand free at all times, it will give you an incredible amount of freedom.
  • Find gestures that are appropriate to you. Gestures should be flowing and clearly visible
  • Vary your gestures. Avoid repetitive movements, this can be quite annoying
  • Only use gestures if they are going to enhance your speech. Don’t ever try to force them into your presentation.
  • And practice, practice, it will be worth it
  • Ian Lockyer