When we think about communication, we often focus on the words that we use. But our body language and gestures play an important role in conveying our ideas effectively, too.
For example, when we make a presentation or give a speech, the way we gesture can help to reinforce our points and make them more persuasive. If we use expansive gestures, it conveys confidence and certainty. On the other hand, if our gestures are more closed off or hesitant, it gives the impression that we’re not as convinced of what we’re saying.
Gestures are communication
We all know that communication is key, whether we’re presenting to a large audience or just chatting with a friend. But did you know that the way you use your body can actually help or hinder your communication efforts? That’s right – the way you gesture, move, and position yourself can either help get your point across or make it harder for people to understand you.
That’s why it’s important to be aware of presentational gestures – those deliberate movements and postures we adopt while communicating. Used effectively, they can help us better express our ideas and connect with our audience. Used poorly, however, and they can actually undermine our message and make it harder for people to pay attention to what we’re saying.
What gestures to use?
So what are some effective presentational gestures? First of all, they should be purposeful and relevant to the content of your presentation. For example, if you’re emphasizing a particular point, you might use a gesture like pointing or jabbing the air with your finger. Or if you’re trying to appear calm and confident, you might stand up straight with your hands at your sides.
Research has shown that certain gestures are more effective than others in conveying information and persuading people. For example, using open gestures (with the palms facing up) conveys confidence and openness, while closed gestures (with the palms facing down or clenched fists) convey hostility or defensiveness. Similarly, expansive gestures (taking up a lot of space) convey confidence and power, while contractionary gestures (taking up less space) convey insecurity or weakness.
So if you want to come across as confident and persuasive in your next presentation, make sure to use open, expansive gestures. Your audience will be more likely to listen to what you have to say – and they’ll be more likely to remember it afterward!
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to presentational gestures – it really depends on your individual style and what will work best for the situation you’re in. But keeping these tips in mind will help you ensure that your gestures are working for you, not against you.