Effective Public Speaking Index

Gestures are the movements of the hands, body or face. They should be meaningful. The good gesture illustrates or emphasizes what is said, strengthening and clarifying it.

A speaker may count off points on his fingers. He may point with full arm extended to some object or in some direction. He may outline with his hands and arms contrasting sizes or shapes. He may let his face mimic an emotion or a grimace. Or he may use his entire body to simulate some action, such as throwing a ball.

Don't think of a gesture as being just a hand gesture. Get the whole arm, the whole body into it. Let the gesture precede the word by a fraction of a second.

Do not be half-hearted in your gesturing. Carry the gesture through to the end. But avoid making showy gestures for their own sake. Let the test of the gesture be that it is decisive, significant and natural.

The amount of gestures you use will depend on your personal preference. Gestures can be powerful aids to good speaking.

When you rehearse your speeches, practice appropriate accompanying gestures. After you have tested them, decide whether you will use them or not.

Exercise :

Work out and practice appropriate gestures for :

1. Contrasting a tiny tot with a sumo fighter

2. I demand to be heard

3. When I see the tricolour flying there...

4. You know what a temple gopuram looks like

Effective Public Speaking Index

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