How to gesture during a speech? Is it worth gesturing?

How to gesture during a speech? Is it worth gesturing?

Are gestures just an addition to a speech? It turns out they are much more than that.

They subtly influence how much the audience can remember from our presentation.

A 2007 experiment on students revealed that we remember up to 33% more from speeches when the speaker USES gestures.

Furthermore, this effect increases over time. That is, 30 minutes after watching a video with a gesturing speaker, viewers remember 50% more than those who watched a speaker without gestures.

Source: A 2007 study conducted by R. Breckinridge Church, Ph. Garber, K. Rogalski, "The Role of Gestures in Memory and Social Communications."

So, how should one use gestures?

1) Consciously - start with the right posture, allowing your hands to gesture naturally and freely. Avoid hiding your hands in pockets or behind your back, as it may make you fidget involuntarily. The safest starting position is to fold your hands in front of your abdomen, around the navel, with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle.

2) Unconsciously - during a speech don't overthink what you're doing with your hands; let them move freely. Focus on constructing a good speech rather than on the specific movements your hands are making at any given moment.

 

And if you want to elevate your presentation skills to a much higher level, ask us about PowerPoint presentation training HERE> or public speaking and delivery training HERE>

We design our training courses for anyone looking to advance their careers through the development of communication skills. We believe that only by investing time and energy in the competence of effective speaking and presenting can we achieve promotions, bonuses, and above-average results in any field.

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