Community//

Show Your Hands (Even Virtually)

Showing your hands, and more specifically your palms, will enhance your presentation and speaking success.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Subconscious response

Have you ever caught yourself with your hands in your pockets, folded arms, or collapsed posture while speaking? Many of us subconsciously gravitate to these positions when we are uncomfortable. But these positions send a negative signal to our audience about both ourselves and our content. Sometimes we can sense, instinctively, that we should change or adjust our position, but how? And to what? These are the critical questions.

Negative impact

The fact is our instincts are correct! When our hands are out of sight to the audience, even virtually, we are sending them a signal that we’re hiding something. In turn, this signal prompts our audience to become mildly suspicious of our message and content. Which, as you might imagine, erodes the trust between the audience and ourselves, as well as our overall effectiveness.

This human response stems from our ancestral history of people physically concealing something from others while communicating. For example: A weapon, food, or a wound.

Course correcting

So, the question arises, what should we do with our hands and arms while we’re speaking? The answer is to make them visible throughout your delivery. As a professional communication coach, I encourage my clients to utilize their hands to gesture and reinforce their message while speaking. Additionally, I caution my clients to avoid excessive gesturing as it may result in audience distraction. The bottom line is, as long as your hands are visible to your audience, they will be more likely to trust, believe, and agree with you.

Even while presenting virtually through web-conferencing (i.e., Zoom, Skype, Google, Teams, WebEx, etc.), revealing your hands periodically to the camera will increase your delivery and speaking success. 

Try it out next time you speak or present to others. Show your palms, boost your success!

For more professional speaking insights and free resources, visit Professional Presentation Services follow us on LinkedIn.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

7 Tips for Effectively Engaging a Virtual Audience

by Dima Ghawi
Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@cwmonty?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Chris Montgomery</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/zoom-meeting?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Community//

The Top 3 Proven Virtual Speaking Tips

by Ryan J. Warriner
"Expanding the Universal Connection" Artwork by Rod Sánchez — www.rodsanchez.com
Community//

4 Tips for Delivering Presentations to Global Audiences

by Dan Bullock & Raúl Sánchez

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.