For the past several weeks I have been very aware of my hands while I am presenting. For portions of the day I hold tools - an iPad in one and a stylus in the other, so that I can interact with and annotate my slides. At other times, my hands are empty and become the tools to support my message.
Zoller and Landry's The Choreography of Presenting explores the best use of gestures and posture, along with many other facets of presenting. For example, when verbally pausing to emphasize a point, these authors suggest that it is best to also freeze your gestures. This leads to congruency rather than mixed messages.
Palms up gestures can convey inclusivity, welcome or confusion. Palms facing down while arms are horizontal can convey expertise, importance and definitiveness. Both gestures have a place in a presentation. The key takeaway is to be intentional with your gestures so that your message is clearly supported.
Pay attention to your hands during your next presentation. Do they match your message?
For more ideas on presenting, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
var switchTo5x=true; >