Wednesday, November 18, 2015
What to do with your hands
Yesterday the On Leadership section at the Washington Post had an interesting article on gestures by Jena McGregor and Shelly Tan titled What to do with your hands when speaking in public. It used graphics and animations to nicely illustrate that topic. Their main points were:
1] Keep hand movements descriptive.
2] Use open palm gestures to build the audience’s trust.
3] Keep your hands in the strike zone when possible.
4] Don’t point. Just don’t.
5] Politicians love to use the Clinton thumb. Most people shouldn’t.
6] When you don’t know what to do, drop your hands to your sides for a moment.
7] Avoid drawing attention to the wrong places.
8] Conducting is for orchestras, not public speaking
9] Keep objects out of your hands.
10] If behind a lectern, show your hands.
11] Avoid “spider hands.”
If you are tall enough to play pro basketball, then your “strike zone” (#3) won’t be hidden by a typical lectern (#10). If you’re short, you could skip being hidden by instead using the top of a chair or stool to hold your notes.