When you make business presentations, would you like to gesture effectively, without worrying about your gestures when you rehearse?
In today’s blog, you will learn how to take the worry out of gesturing. This is Part 2 in my series called “Take Stage to Engage Your Business Listeners”.
Clients sometimes tell me that they don’t know what to do with their hands when they speak for business, and that this adds to their nervousness. Here are a few guidelines about gesturing and how you can “take stage” in a way that looks and feels natural.
- Your hands and arms should be open and available for natural gestures – not in your pockets, clasped, or behind you.
- Your hands should speak; movements should match both your content and the energy in your voice. And your gestures should come from the waist up, for a feeling of expansion and authority.
- Use both hands to gesture whenever possible and put pens and pointers down when you’re not using them.
Most importantly, do not rehearse your gestures! Allow your gestures to be the organic result of your focus on your listeners and their needs.
Some of my clients tell me that they rehearse in front of a mirror, to monitor their gestures.
Don’t do it!
Looking into a mirror trains you to focus on what you look like, rather than focusing on your listeners and what you want them to do or feel. It puts you in the habit of being preoccupied with yourself. And audiences always know when you’re preoccupied by yourself. They interpret this as either egotism or a lack of confidence.
So, instead, when you rehearse, choose a spot or two on the wall to place your focus. As you speak your content aloud, speak AS IF you were talking to a close friend. This will help you “take stage” organically and authentically. You will project confidence, a spirit of ease, and a true concern for your listeners and their needs.