Hand Gestures when Speaking

Hands are an important part of body language when speaking.

  • In his book titled, Nonverbal Communication,  the leading Californian researcher Albert Mehrabian claims facial expressions are almost eight times as powerful as the words used. That words only count for 7% of our message. And that 55% of our message is conveyed by our body language.

Hands Talk

Of the 55% of a message that is conveyed by body language, I’d say the hands are a huge percentage of that.

The photos above belong to a soft, but well spoken, individual at a recent training. Can you tell what his hands are doing? They are accentuating his explanation of rules.

Do your hands emphasize or distract from what you are saying?  Videotape yourself to see what mischief your hands might be up to when you speak. I love the following story from Berk Decker’s book, You’ve Got to be Believed to be Heard about Norman Vincent Peale’s appreciation of video to spot unsightly habits.

“I used to do this with my nose” (as he put his right finger astride his right nostril), “not picking my nose, just sort of rubbing it. But it looked like I was picking my nose and I have cut that out. If my finger goes up in that direction I immediately take it down. I stopped a lot of nervous affectations that I didn’t know I had, even after years of speaking. Yes, video feedback has definitely helped me.”

When I was much younger, LONG before I became a speaker, I used to unconsciously put my hands up around my face, blocking the lips.  A counselor noted that it was because I felt insecure and unsure about what I had to say.

What you have to say is important.  Make sure your hands agree.


Article:  Hand Gestures When Speaking

Article Source: Kiss Speaking Tips

Author: Linnaea Mallette

Hand Gestures When Speaking





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