Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nervous gestures can irritate your audience

In a blog post on September 11th Joe Pops related how he was distracted by people who jingle their pocket change during conversations or public speaking. It reminded him of the song Jingle Jangle Jingle, about cowboy spurs. Those gestures are unconscious, so the best way to spot them is to videotape yourself and then watch. Once you see what they are, you can take steps to remove them. For example, change can easily be corralled with an inexpensive coin holder as shown above.

Some people expertly twirl pencils, pens, or laser pointers. Perhaps back in high school they were drum majors or majorettes in marching bands. 

My first job was in a research lab. They required wearing safety glasses and covered my prescription ones under their vision plan. Unfortunately the plastic frames they provided had nonadjustable nose pieces, as shown above on a woman chemist. They didn’t really fit me. Although I tried adding foam pads, the glasses still constantly slid down. So, I unconsciously kept pushing my glasses up. That gesture continued for several years after I had switched to wire rim glasses with adjustable nose pieces that didn’t slip.

I’ve discussed more gestures in a previous post back in 2009.

The image of baton twirling came from the Library of Congress.

1 comment:

Joe Pops said...

Thanks for the mention Richard - I put my coins in my laptop case - great way of saving money.