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Hand gestures when public speaking (part 4)

Your hands can speak volumes. But are they saying what you want them to say?

Have you ever thought about how your hands — and what you do with them when you speak in front of an audience — can give more meaning to your message?
Your hands are an important tool in your speaker’s toolbox. This is part four of a five-part series about hand gestures when public speaking that will help you discern what to do — and what not to do — the next time you speak.

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Are your hand gestures convincing?

DO use your hands to convey emotion.

DON’T tell an emotional story and expect your audience to feel what you feel if you allow your hands to remain stoically at your side.

For example, when sharing a story about someone who did something that touched your heart, get the audience to feel that emotion by putting your hands on your heart as you make that emotional point.

Or, if you’re talking about a change that’s “very big and very bold,” use your whole hands — and whole arms — to exaggerate that bigness and boldness for all to see.

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Are you preparing now for an upcoming speaking engagement? If so, consider what you’ll do with your hands. Half the battle is simply being aware that your hands can speak and then thinking deliberately about precisely what you want your hands to say.
If you can use your hands in purposeful ways that enhance your message with more meaning, you will more successful in winning over your audience the next time you speak in public.