Good speakers are commonly characterized as sounding confident, using good posture and understanding audience cues to deliver their speeches. Having good public speaking techniques is a skill that is imperative to have, especially as you get older and give speeches more often. It’s not that you need these abilities to give speeches during school/work, but it can help you become more comfortable speaking to other people in general and can boost your confidence in countless social scenarios. Being put in the spotlight makes the concept of public speaking much less daunting after doing it multiple times. A common method people use to enhance their speeches is through hand gestures, which can make the presentation more interesting and engage the audience even more.
While this may not be true in all cases, hand gestures often help emphasize certain points of speeches and strengthen the speaker’s message. Research shows that stronger speakers use hand gestures, and here are some common motions people use while speaking. People pay attention to the motions being taken during speeches. If you purposely use your body to stress a certain idea, the audience is much more likely to remember what you said. The movement draws attention to what you’re saying at that moment and draws attention to the important parts of the speech. A lively speaker leaves a larger impression on listeners than an immobile individual.
When you’re sitting listening to a lecture, it can get really tempting to just close your eyes and drift off, especially if the person giving the speech isn’t doing a great job in trying to engage the audience. No one likes to sit through hours and hours of a flavorless lecture, no matter how interesting the topic may be. Using hand gestures can make the speaker more animated, and it’s much more pleasing to the eye to have a moving lecturer as opposed to a stationary speaker the entire time. It’s not that the lecturer is boring per say, but more that using motions would prompt more people to stay alert during the presentation. However, hand gestures may not be the way to go for everyone. Don’t randomly insert them into speeches if you don’t feel comfortable doing so because it will only come off as unnatural and awkwardly placed.
Not only does being a strong speaker help you in school/work but can come in use during daily conversations. You practice how you play-- these habits carry over into our daily lives, and we find ourselves gesticulating wildly in the middle of a conversation with a friend. Doing so isn’t wrong, but excessive hand motions can seem awkward in a normal conversation (especially if you knock something over.) I would just like to apologize for all those times I’ve knocked people’s phones, water bottles, folders and lunches out of their hands. Thankfully I haven’t caused any lasting damage (besides forever crinkly papers from spilled water,) but I know it’s startling when the things you’re holding suddenly go flying in the air.
On top of your voice projection, confidence level and ability to interpret the audience, hand gestures can enhance your speech and make people more interested in what you’re saying. Motions draw attention to the key points of the presentation, make it much easier to follow and cause the audience to be more engaged.