Where to Introduce Hand Gestures Into Your Speaking.
To make sure your gestures match your words, think about the words you are using. Many of them will contain information or emotion that you can emphasize with a hand gesture.
To get started, think about any wording you will use that refers to numbers or lists. These are ideal places to add in a gesture.
“I will cover three key areas / there are two key factors / only five people returned from the hike.” “A, we will do this. B, we will do that. C we will do the other.” By counting off on your fingers or holding up the fingers, you will help listeners stay on track and lower your chance of digressing.
Next, look at any wording that could be “acted out” or demonstrated. Four easy areas are:
Amounts: Your hands will reflect the underlined word in the example. “A large number of items were returned.” “Only a small amount of water must be added.” “Let’s include all sizes of dogs, both big and toy.” “Only a minuscule portion was lost.” “A colossal proportion of the population owns a car.”
Positions: Your hands will show left, right, up, down, etc. “We moved from the east coast to the west coast.” “Everyone, please move toward the front.” “Once we stood apart, now we stand together.” “They came from near and far.”
People: Your hands will move toward the person you are speaking about. “You are the reason we came today.” “Robbie has always been there for us.” “We must thank her sister.” “You and I will sort this out.”
Emotions: One hand touching the heart shows love, faith, trust. “I trust you will be there.” Two hands overlapped at the base of the throat, underline the emotions expressed. “I am so grateful.”
Effective hand gestures will make you more memorable, and help your listeners recall the message.