You know how many times I’ve heard the question, What should I do with my hands? I stopped counting. Good hand gestures are extremely important in public speaking. They emphasize your content. They make your message more memorable. They light your enthusiasm.
So – what should you do then with your hands?
In order to better understand this subject, I will first share with you some negative examples. In this post, I will tell you what you should NOT do.
In my seminars I have identified six usual suspects, six hand gestures you should always avoid.
1) Hand washing
Please wash your hands under the tap, not on stage.
Please pray in church, not on stage.
Some call it rhombus, some call it superglue thanks to Mrs. Merkel. I call it the diamond. Whatever you call it – please avoid this hand gesture. The shocking truth – I use the diamond myself in The Seven Minute Star book trailer. Homer Simpson would say, “D’oh!”
4) Wedding ring twisting
A hand gesture so hidden, so subtle – I hardly found an image. But – I found one. Please stop twisting your wedding ring or other rings when you speak in public. This hand gesture is only good for one thing – to reveal your nervousness.
Hands out of your pockets! You want to transmit 100% transparency. We have been built in millions of years. We have instincts. Potentially hiding something is not the best signal you can send to your audience.
The same, of course, applies to your hands behind the back. No hands behind the back. 100% transparency!
Now that you know what you should NOT do with your hands, I will tell you about good hand gestures in one of the next posts.