Power Presentations Tip #48: Show Your Hands

Show your hands to build more trust

To instil more trust in your audience let them see your hands.

Many speakers don't know what to do with their hands. They feel self conscious about their hands and might fidget with them or hide them. Both of those actions can hurt your effectiveness when presenting.

It's believed that because your hands are at the end of your arms they might display the real message that you can't control. Often this is true. When we can see your hands we will notice whether they support or detract from your message.

You might move your hands while speaking - which can help to grab attention, describe a point and convey passion - as long as the movement appears to be natural. Awkward or unusual hand movements can be distracting or disturbing.

Don't play with markers, pens, pointers, buttons, your hair, or your fingers.

As a speaker you don't want your audience concentrating on watching your hands so intensely that they stop listening to what you are saying. You also don't want them wondering what could be in your hidden hands. When we can see your hands we trust you more because we know that hidden hands could be hiding a threat. Hidden hands could hold a weapon. In the olden days a hand extended was a sign of friendship because it revealed that you were not holding a weapon.

Keep your hands out of your pockets and in front of your body most of the time while speaking. If you want to show a causal stance then you might place one of your hands in a pocket. But don't keep it there for long. And don't hide it deep in your pocket. Keep your thumb out of the pocket as a display of no threats.

When you display your hands show them palm out. A fist would appear to be threatening. Hands displayed with knuckles out could look like a fist.

Bonus tip: .If you want to build more trust when sitting at a table keep your hands on top of the table.

To cultivate more trust from your listeners display your open hands.

George Torok
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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.Share/Save/Bookmark

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