If you don’t gesture your audience may think you’re indifferent on the subject you’re speaking on. Posture, gestures, and facial expressions help speakers to express ideas, sentiments, or attitudes. The eyes, mouth, and head convey feelings and enforce the spoken work. Appropriate gestures add visual and emotional emphasis while stirring your feelings and enlivening your voice.
Two primary types of gestures are descriptive and emphatic gestures. Descriptive gestures show action, dimension, or location. Words that indicate direction, distance, size, or location may be well suited to these types of gestures. Emphatic gestures show feeling and conviction. (If you’ve noticed most of the pictures or me in action are not flattering, but they are full of feeling.) Emphatic gestures punctuate, vitalize, and reinforce ideas, but they can become mannerisms.
A word of caution about gestures: pointing may make your audience uncomfortable. (I do this in some of my communication classes to demonstrate aggressive communication techniques, and yes, it makes my audience uncomfortable.)
Your facial expressions may be hard to control. They show how you really feel. From your eyes to the way you tilt your head – if your expressions don’t match the material you’re presenting or your tone of voice, the audience will see this discord and discredit the information you present. It helps to start with a warm smile, greet members of the audience before you speak, and be passionate about your material.
Check out Fletcher’s YouTube channel to see her speak or call 715-584-6773 to hire her.