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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Public Speaking Gestures

Most of us are uneasy when talking in public or giving a presentation. There’s a feeling of anxiety, discomfort, lack of confidence, and most importantly, your gestures and body language .i.e. how to I stand, how move my hands, should I stand still, shivering legs etc..
Here, some guidelines that can help you, handle your gestures while you speak in public.  
One: Never plan or can a gesture
Speakers who plan or can gestures, rehearse them, and then insert them at the time they seemingly fit their message will resemble robots. They will appear rigid, inflexible, and out of touch with the audience.
You just let gestures happen. You gesture when a hand or arm motion expresses your mood.
Follow that approach when you face an audience. Listeners will consider you genuine and likable.
You have to trust your body with gestures…
Two: Check videotape to eliminate annoying gestures
One of the most effective ways to know where you go wrong, is by video recording a Presentation of yours. This will help you know your aggressive/ submissive gestures and accordingly you can work on them.
Three: Use gestures appropriate for you
We all know what suits us and body language, so don’t imitate great speakers. Its good to adapt and learn from their style and pattern of speaking.
Gestures emerge from an individual's personality and communication style.
"Imitation is suicide. I must be myself."
Four: Gesture visibly enough for large audiences
Adjust the range of your gestures to match your audience size. A gesture you use for a staff meeting of 15-20 people would hardly catch attention with an audience of 500.
Five : Put your best face forward
With facial expressions, it's important that you relax enough to enable your face muscles to correspond with the mood you are feeling. Here again, videotape helps. You'll learn that a spontaneous smile helps your audience enjoy your humorous comments.
Six: Move away from the podium
There's a tendency to hold on to a podium with the same tenacity of a drowning man holding a life preserver. We fear letting go. What would happen if we drifted away?
Just this--walking away to another spot frees you to gesture. You would be surprised how 
walking and moving around helps you relax through a presentation.

Try these seven gesture guidelines. You will enjoy speaking more, and your audiences will love to listen--and watch you.

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