What Do I Do with My Hands?

You’re standing at the front of a room of people. All eyes are on you. You know your content – phew.

But there’s a nagging question that jumps to mind... (cue the video, below)

We don’t advocate the politician gesture, and we’re not out to make everyone in business into a robotic communicator. In fact, making the same gesture over and over again can be as distracting as using your hands too much or too little.

Instead, keep a variation between gesture and rest.

Trust me – I had to learn this balance first-hand (no pun intended). I come from huge Italian family, and we use our fingers and hands all the time to communicate all the necessary details.

But it’s far more impactful – and you can really change the way you come across – if you make your gestures a little bigger.

Not Italian? A great way to practice gestures, if you’re just not sure what kind of gesture to make, is to have it match the content of what you are saying. Sharing that your revenue has increased? Make a large gesture to show us how much it grew.

And when you’re finished, rest your arms at your sides.

Go Big, and Go Home.


4 thoughts on “What Do I Do with My Hands?
  1. This was really helpful for in-person meetings. Any suggestions for those of us who work virtually on webcams? A lot of times there is a delay, so your gesture won’t sync up to what you are saying or emphasizing.

  2. Kelly,
    Excellent suggestions and delivery! Would only suggest that these tips will need to be modified if we are using video rather than a live meeting/presentation. The video frame may not support going Big so hand gestures will need to be contained in the “frame”
    Great Tips!

  3. Jim, that’s exactly what I had to do for this video – normally my gestures are much bigger! On video, “Go Big” means filling up the whole frame. Test it out – see how it changes when you are a different distance from the camera. Nicole, you may just want to slow down your gestures a bit if the connection is not great.

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