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Confident Public Speakers Always Focus On Their Hands Instead Of Their Audience

Confident Public Speakers Always Focus On Their Hands Instead Of Their Audience

Remember once in your public speech experience, your hands started sweating the moment you were in the backstage, it sweated even more when you stood on the stage. Your brain is blank because you worried that you might look weird, your audience might not like your content and not drawn by your speech. Yes, focusing too much on your audience will end up making you feel so anxious and fearful!

Confident people get nervous too, but they know how to trick their brains

In one experiment people were separated into 3 groups, with different degrees of restriction. It is found that the more the people are free to move, having their gesture naturally, the more FLUENT they get[1]. It’s not hard to imagine. As you get the right words easier, you’ll less likely to panic. And by using hand gestures it’s shifting our focus from the audience to our own.

So…where to start? Below are some common hand gestures that you can incorporate into your speech easily.

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1. Listing (1/2/3)

    Let’s start with the most easiest one! Use your hand to show the corresponding number when you say the signposts 1,2,3. It can also help your readers to follow your flow more easily too!

    2. Stop

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      image credit: Jack via Flickr

      When you want somebody to stop talking, you can stop them by making this post, it helps add authority to your speech. You can also do it to catch your audience’s attention too. It’s powerful!

      3. Using “ME”

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        To add more personal touch in your speech, you can point or place your hands towards your chest when you talk about something related to you.

        4. Indicating the size

          When you talk about something and describe their size/ degree, you can use your hand to show the corresponding level or sizes, like tiny, small, medium, large. For example, when you describe something that is big, bring your hands wide apart to show the huge space it takes.

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          Featured photo credit: Jack via flickr.com

          Reference

          More by this author

          Lilian Tang

          Traveller, food lover (especailly sushi!)

          The Skill That Most People Don’t Have: Active Listening Confident Public Speakers Always Focus On Their Hands Instead Of Their Audience

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          Last Updated on December 2, 2018

          7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

          7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

          When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

          You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

          1. Connecting them with each other

          Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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          It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

          2. Connect with their emotions

          Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

          For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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          3. Keep going back to the beginning

          Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

          On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

          4. Link to your audience’s motivation

          After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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          Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

          5. Entertain them

          While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

          Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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          6. Appeal to loyalty

          Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

          In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

          7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

          Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

          Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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