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What are gestures and why are they important?

Gestures, including body language, is an important tool in delivering stories and humor. When speakers communicate with an audience, they’re not limited to just “words.” It’s a clever combination of words, verbal delivery, and gestures/body language. Audiences are captivated by movements and gestures. If you use your body to “paint the picture” as you simultaneously use the right words, the audience will keep up with the visual images you are creating in your funny story, or better follow your humor set-up. Gestures can include:

  • Holding up fingers
  • Pointing
  • Waving
  • Cupping hands
  • Gesturing with hands in a specific direction
  • Creating a shape with hands
  • Making a sign (E.g. “okay” or “thumbs up”)
  • Rubbing head
  • Holding chin in “thought” pose
  • Clapping
  • Slapping your face
  • Stick out your tongue
  • And many more!

One very important thing about gestures is to practice, practice, practice out loud until the gestures come naturally. If you practice your gestures too much or try to remember them, you may end up with gestures that are out of synch…they take place a split-second too early. This can have a detrimental effect.

 The following is a video excerpt demonstrating gestures in action. Note that I am using gestures throughout the segment.

Another success strategy relating to gestures, facial expressions, and purposeful movement relates to audience size. As your audience size increases in different events (45 people, 200 people, 1000+ people, etc.) you need to make your gestures and facial expressions larger to maximize effectiveness. As the stage size increases and/or is very wide, your purposeful movement needs additional consideration and coordination. 

This is a series of blog articles and brief videos on “Finding the Funny – Learn the Step-By-Step-Process to Develop and Deliver Humor & Funny Stories & Incorporate into Serious Content.” The blogs are excerpts from my e-learning course (see link on right) which includes:

  • Over 16 lessons
  • Over 8 hours of video instruction
  • Activities and quizzes to complement each lesson
  • Downloadable worksheets and templates
  • 12 month access to course updates and additions

Please feel free to share with professional speakers, public speakers, trainers…anyone who stands in front of audiences who wants to make them laugh or bring some lightheartedness into serious content. Help me out by “liking,” “subscribing.” and “sharing” on the various social media platforms. To help me out, please make sure you “subscribe” (right-hand column) so you do not miss any of these weekly blog articles. Please feel free to comment on this blog-site and on social-media sites, and share with those who will benefit from them.

Copyright © MMXX by David R. Hill