Importance of Gestures in Public Speaking!

Image for post
Image for post

Consider it’s the first day of college and your professor calls you up to the front of the class and tells you to introduce yourself. You stand there, idly stuttering. Looking at the staring eyes makes you being lost in words and being taken over by fear and anxiety.

I’m not trying to scare you, just trying to make a good point.

According to a study conducted by Professor Mehrabian on two of his students, he concluded that communication is only 7% verbal and the rest 93% is non-verbal.

When a speaker communicates with his audience, it’s not only limited to the “WORDS”, but it’s a combination of words, verbal delivery, and body language.

That means, on the first day of your college or during that business presentation, you weren’t actually short of words. You were just simply thinking too much

Think about that… Don’t, I’m just kidding.

The first advantage of using hand gestures in public speaking over simply using words is that it can stop you from overthinking stuff.

In other words, constantly moving your hands — making gestures in public speaking makes it easier for you to have an easy flow of information. Not just for the audience but also for yourself. You already know the next word that’s perfect for your speech.

It helps your audience connect better

Image for post
Image for post

Using your hands as a storytelling tool is how you can best explain yourself in both personal and professional scenarios. Just imagine how boring a story would be if your friend simply sits and spits out words. Your mind will wander around and you’ll feel disconnected to his words

Hand and finger movements make a conversation or a public speech more compelling, trustworthy, and help the listener connect better. Hand gestures can often help emphasize certain points of your speech and strengthen your public speaking message.

Gestures make you a better speaker

People pay attention to movements and gestures during speeches. If you purposely use your body to stress a certain idea by clapping or pointing, the audience is much more likely to remember what you said. Powerful speakers use this public speaking tactic throughout their speech and it clearly works

Psychologically, we are more drawn towards movements and they make us remember our experiences better. The movement draws attention to what you’re saying and draws attention to the important parts of your speech.

Hand gestures often help to emphasize certain points of speech and strengthen the speaker’s message as well.

And if you think about it, it makes complete sense…

An active speaker leaves a much better impression on the audience than an inactive one. It wouldn’t matter how interesting your speech is on paper, without gestures, your public speaking will always be considered boring and stale.

Now I am not telling you to get on the stage and start moving your hands like a maniac. While I would be amused to watch it (I would totally get the front seat) your audience might not be.

Learn by observing the gestures of other public speakers like Mark Zuckerberg, or Gary Vaynerchuck, or Robin Sharma and grasp the idea of what’s the perfect hand gesture to use instead of a word.

Public speaking is another big game of trial and error. So keep on trying, get out of your comfort zone, and take a look at The Stage’s different programs. Each program is specifically designed to help you grow better and achieve better.

Head on over to The Stage’s official website and see for yourself ;)

We’ll be there with you even after your speech has ended…

Written by

The Stage is a skill development firm which focuses on helping students of all kinds prepare for future skills to achieve personal and professional growth.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store