Posted by: George E Burney | May 11, 2012

Public Speaking – Gestures Are Powerful Communications

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Gestures are as natural as spring rains. They’re also powerful tools in getting your point across to an audience. Use them well.

Relax And They Will Come

We all use hand and facial gestures in everyday conversations, even when we’re speaking on the phone. What’s more, we do so without ever having been coached on how to use them. So, using gestures just comes naturally to us because they help facilitate understanding of our words.

What does this suggest? That an excellent way to develop and use gestures when speaking to an audience is to learn to relax and speak conversationally, and let them come naturally. That eliminates the possibility of employing staged gestures which look staged.

If you fail to gesture at all, the audience will eventually notice this because it seems so unnatural. Their attention is then drawn to you and away from what you are saying. They’ll sense that you are uncomfortable, and they will be uncomfortable, too.

Avoid Mixed Messages

Even when used improperly, gestures can have a powerful, though negative effect. For example, consider gestures which conflict with what you’re saying. If you say that something is true while shaking your head from side to side, your audience will receive mixed signals and will wonder if you really believe what you’re saying.

When your gestures are congruent with your spoken words, they reinforce your speech and become an essential part of the “package” you present to your audience. The audience both sees and hears what you’re saying. Because two senses are involved, the effect is greater and your presentation is much more powerful and persuasive.

In addition, your audience will enjoy your presentation, and will feel at ease because you’ll appear to be at ease, too.

For a comprehensive discussion of public speaking, please see my eBook, How To Master Public Speaking, Quickly and Easily. For more information, click here:


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