Speaking with your hands in your pockets during conversations, speeches and presentations?Just put your hands in your pants?
Just put your hands in your pockets during a presentation?
Where to put your hands in conversations and during presentations? Just put your hands in your trouser pockets and the problem is solved. Many inexperienced speakers think this is quite a good idea at the beginning. I (and most of the audience) don’t think it’s so good. Why? This question will be answered.
Since I can remember, almost in every introductory workshop of presentation skills someone asks a question about the hands and where they belong in conversations, speeches, and presentations.
A very popular question is whether the hands belong in the trouser pockets or not. Many workshop participants consider this to be quite a good idea. I think about it differently.
Here are five reasons not to put your hands in the pockets of your trousers while speaking.
1. It leads to irritation
The unexplainable frequent digging around in the depths of the trouser pockets inspires the viewer’s imagination and thus distracts from the originally intended message.
The audience cannot know what you are doing there. They have no idea that you are just asking your lucky charm for help because of your stage fright.
2. It increases mistrust
Open palms promote trust, hidden hands mistrust.
3. It reduces gestures
Having your hands in your pockets prevents convincing body language. How can appropriate gestures support the message when the hands are gone? Good gestures require both hands.
4. It sends the wrong signal
Keeping your hands in your pockets is also a gesture that indicates that you are afraid, unsure, or not interested in the presentation. Is that what you want to convey to the audience?
5. It demonstrates a lack of respect
It is perhaps intended to look casual. Some of your audience members might find it rude towards them. It may upset them.
Where else can I put my hands? Coherent gestures underline credibility, illustrate and strengthen arguments. This is precisely why the hands belong in the audience’s field of vision. I recommend individual starting positions for the hands. These can then be internalized in everyday situations, and this promotes natural gestures. What is suitable for one person is far from being suitable for another.
General recipes often do more harm than good. An example of such a mishap is the Merkel rhombus. It has become a trademark. Some call it a running gag, but that does not make it a recommendation — on the contrary.
Do you want more suggestions for where to put your hands and how to develop strong gestures? You’ll get them from me in many of my articles. Have fun with it!
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