Remember the last time you felt anger? Your facial muscles where tense and your gestures and posture expressed anger. Did you notice what happened with your body? If you feel the emotion, your gestures just happen. However if you try to display certain emotions with particular gestures included artificially, it will look very unnatural.
Imagine a shy man with a very soft voice and low energy showing broad gestures because he wants to appear confident. How does it look? Unnatural! When you are really energetic, try to stand still and not to gesture. It’s very difficult and even if you manage to do so it will look unnatural. Everything that looks unnatural is perceived as insincere. Everything insincere breaks the connection with your audience and it kills your speech.
If I were to give you the single tip that can significantly improve gestures of any speaker it will be this: “Never use rehearsed gestures. Let the emotions drive your gestures. Feel the emotions and your gestures will just happen.”
Of course at the beginning many of your gestures may not look all that great. You need to analyze them and make sure that you are following the best practices described below. After a while, you won’t need to check to see if you are using these best practices because they will come naturally to you.
Gesture in all dimensions
Many speakers gesture just in front of them and below their chest. All of them are dramatically limiting their potential for gestures.
You can point at something behind your back. You can point at something on the floor. You can try to reach the sky with your hands. Don’t limit yourself to gestures that you’ve seen other speakers use. You can gesture in 360 degrees and if you truly want to be memorable to your audience members, perform different gestures.
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