Monday, June 2, 2008

What to do with your arms and hands

What should you do with your arms and hands when you speak? Timothy Koegel has some good answers. On page 62 of his book The Exceptional Presenter he says you should NOT let your arms dangle uselessly in front of your body. He calls this the T-Rex posture, and shows a cartoon of that dinosaur in a business suit. Then he lists a whole series of irrelevant hand gestures that can distract and annoy your audience:
Four examples are:

The "spider on the mirror". Fingertips touching fingertips. Try some spider pushups!

The "sisters of mercy". Hands in the praying position, asking for the presentation to be over.

The "fire starter". Rubbing the hands together in an attempt to ignite the brain.

The "hand washer". Scrub up, and finish this dangerous operation.

Later in the chapter he discusses effective gestures. Now, Tim Koegel certainly knows what to do with his hands. If his name sounds vaguely familiar it is because he was the starting quarterback for the Notre Dame football team after Joe Montana.

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