When public speaking, stop focusing so much on your voice and pay attention to your hands.
2 min read
How you present yourself says a lot about you, and much of that comes down to what you do with your hands. That’s especially true when speaking in front of an audience.
According to a recent study, speakers whose TED Talks went viral used an average 465 hand gestures throughout their speeches, compared to the typical 272 hand gestures of speakers whose videos weren’t as popular. However, there’s an art and science behind effective hand gestures. If you really want to get people to listen to you, you’ve got to be using the right ones at the right times.
If you’re speaking on a subject of expertise and you have a strong directive to give, try the simple “I’m certain” pose by pointing your hands in front of you in order to accentuate a point and show confidence. To the contrary, in a scenario where you’re trying be honest and transparent with your audience, try opening up your palms. This makes the audience feel like you are opening up to them and have nothing to hide. Another way to show your soft side to an audience is by placing your hand on your heart. If you’re opening up about something emotional or trying to share something you truly believe in, a hand to the heart increases perception of honesty.
From finger counting to opening up your palms, check out Pound Place’s infographic below for more hand gestures to help get people to listen to you.