We can’t touch ideas. That makes them difficult to present. Words help. Pictures do too. They’re not enough though. That’s where the importance of gestures in presentation of ideas comes in play.
Importance Of Gestures In Presentation Of Ideas
In the presentation of ideas, gestures often carry more weight than the words. This effect compounds as the idea becomes more strategic and the audience less specialized.
The more the idea fits a specific situation or the specialties of the audience, the more pragmatic questions and concerns enter the picture. Details play a greater role. That means content. For example, gestures won’t make much of a difference in very technical presentations.
Beginning To Use Gestures
Words have definitions. They’re understood by all. This allows us to use them to communicate. Gestures work the same way. They have definitions too. That means a common meaning exists for certain gestures. Here’s a “dictionary” of twenty common hand gestures you can begin to use.
A structure exists for words too. Grammar, phrases, sentences and paragraphs are examples. Gestures have structure too. In simple terms, the gestures should take place close to us. Making hand gestures far from the body conveys recklessness. This, of course, works counter to our goal of having others feel secure with our idea.
Striking The Right Balance With Gestures
Yet, gestures can’t exist for their own sake. They need to connect to the words. For example, gestures of emphasis need to sync with emphasized words and thoughts. Too many useless gestures can turn off people.
Thus, to start, focus on a few gestures. It’s better to err on the low side. What’s natural for you? What fits the words and thoughts? Then, practice. Have someone look for your gestures.
Why Gestures Work
The importance of gestures in presentation of strategic ideas stems from the enthusiasm and certainty they convey. Both motivate people to buy into an idea. They want to experience the same enthusiasm. They want to see what you see.
In short, even though hard to see, gestures make the idea more real, more tangible, more concrete. It’s a form of animation. It’s a video versus a snap shot.
Again, gestures work very well for strategic ideas. They aren’t as effect for ideas tied to a specific action such as a procedure. They work best for ideas that people have a hard time visualizing. Gestures make an idea more real. They make it come to life.