Look at the images below. Is there something that strikes you? Something that doesn’t look quite right? Could it be the way these TED speakers keep their arms in the same awkward position? I call it the Ninety Degrees Phenomenon.
I’m a big fan of open body language. Your perceived self-confidence and charisma love open body language. Why? Because closed body language with full hand contact in front of your belly is nothing but a subconscious indicator of anxiety and fear. You protect your belly, one of the body’s most vulnerable parts. That is known and that is what I discussed on this blog in the past.
But – what I find even weirder is that even with open body language, almost all public speakers I have witnessed in my trainings and live on stage, automatically, stick to that 90 degrees angle when it comes to their arms.
Do you know that you can move your arms in other angles than 90 degrees?
How would you indicate the size of your bigger sibling?
How would you point at the horizon?
How would you stand still like a choir singer – with your hands tight at side?
You see, you can move your arms differently.
When you cheer your children at a sports event at school, do you keep your arms in a 90 degrees angle? When you stand at a bar with friends and tell a dirty joke, do you keep your arms in a 90 degrees angle? When you make love, do you keep your arms in a 90 degrees angle? So why do you do that when you speak in public?
Speak with your body, speak with your arms, speak naturally.
Turn your arms into a multiple angle communicational super weapon!
Photo by Tessa Rampersad