Good Presentations: Gestures

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In good presentations, avoid gestures that are fidgety and unnecessary as they distract the audience. Use appropriate gestures for good presentations with tips from a teacher, presenter and facilitator in this free video on public speaking.

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Video Transcript

And now I'd like to talk to you about gestures. Another very important aspect of your physical presentation. There are all sorts of things that people do with their hands when they could be gesturing to emphasize the message that they're trying to deliver to their audience. As I'm doing one of the things that you shouldn't do I'm finding it's actually distracting me and making it more difficult to give my presentation. What I'm doing is I'm playing with my marker. Why not? It's got that nice satisfying click. It makes me feel safer. It makes me feel less nervous I thought. Actually it's making me feel more nervous. And it's putting marker all over my hands. So lets talk about what to do instead of any of those things that we might default to. You want to gesture. Gesture. Again this is a conversation. Gesture to the degree that is natural for you. If you're somebody that never gestures, don't gesture. Don't fake it. If you do gesture in conversation gesture during your presentations. The one difference being you want to keep your gestures between your waist and your chin which is where natural gestures typically go. But make sure they're nice and big. In other words gestures such as this look nervous. They don't look real. They're not natural. When you're not gesturing assume the natural stance. Our bodies are built to go like this. When you're not gesturing and you relax your arms by your sides not stick them to your sides but relax your arms by your sides then your arms disappear out of the picture and the audience focuses again on your face where your message is coming from. Gestures enhance messages. If you're not doing anything to enhance the message with your hands then your hands and arms should disappear. Keep your hands empty as I demonstrated at the beginning of this demonstration. It's not helpful to the audience even if it is helpful to you, to have something to play with in your hands. Now you may be saying nobody stands like that, it looks really stupid. Think again. Look again. Watch the Academy Awards. Watch comedians. When they're not doing something with their hands their hands disappear by their sides. It's the natural way to stand. So do that when you're making your outstandingly good presentations.

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