Get to the Point Without Pointing

Recently at an in-house workshop for a large Arizona General Contractor, “Jason” had a habit of pointing his finger at members of the audience when he wanted to underscore what he was saying.

Pointing makes members of your audience uncomfortable.  But many people like “Jason” struggle with what to do with their hands during a presentation.

Some clasp their hands in front, others in back to avoid gesturing all together.  Some put hands in pockets or on their hips.  Some try the happy medium which I call T-Rex.  The shoulder to the elbow are tight against the body and from the hands to the elbows they gesture freely.  All of these show physical rigidity in a presentation.

Ideally the arms should be relaxed at the side of the body to allow flexibility of movement.  This can be uncomfortable at first.  To get folks to that point gradually, I suggest holding an index card in one hand to occupy it therefore allowing the other arm freedom.  Another temporary solution is to allow the presenter to put one hand in their pocket for a little while then let them graduate to taking the hand out of the pocket.

Use an open palm when gesturing and ideally keep your fingers together.

Need some coaching to get rid of bad habits or take your presentation skills to the next level?  Give me a call at 602-795-5400.