Use Effective Hand Gestures to Elevate Your Speech.

Effective hand gestures enhance a speech or presentation and keep the audience focused on you. Just as we use italics, or bold, or underlining to draw attention to key points in our writing, so should we use effective hand gestures to draw attention to points in our spoken message. 

The key to compelling hand gestures is to ensure they tie exactly to the words you are using. Keep gestures clear, sharp, and purposeful (no vague hand-flapping) to emphasize a point and aid understanding. 

If you are unsure where to use a hand gesture, look at your speech; most gestures flow naturally from the written word. If you list items in a speech, you count them off on your fingers. If you extend a challenge to your listeners, you open your arms to “gather” in everyone. 

The best hand gestures are those that are smooth and natural. To decide what is natural to you, pay attention to your normal hand gestures when you are a relaxed mode—with friends, talking on the phone, etc. We all have go-to gestures. Start by incorporating these in your next speech, but remember, the hand gesture must underscore the words. Remember to practice these hand gestures while practicing your speech, and I guarantee, it will enhance your speech or presentation.