How to use gesture when you present – and speak to sound confident (even when you’re not)

“I don’t use gesture!  You’re making me do something unnatural, Frankie!”  exclaimed the client, as he waved his hands in the air.

“Alright.  Carry on, then.” I replied,  “Do what you’re doing there.”

The problem is that most people don’t do what they naturally do when go into presentation mode.

They become all robotic, forgetting they have hands and not knowing how to speak expressively ?.

Wondering how to move and sound more confidently when you present?

Unsure how to sound more convincing in a pitch?

This video address BOTH challenges.

Learn when and how to move and sound to seem more confident: even when you’re not.



Have you ever stood in front of an audience and realized suddenly that you’ve got arms and  you don’t know really what to do with them and they’ve got these hands on the end and you’ve forgotten how to move?

Well, in this video I’m going to show you how to gesture when  you present in a way that calms your nerves and makes you look and feel more confident. Let’s go.

Hi I’m Frankie Kemp from People Skills for Geeks, helping professionals in tech to become less vanilla and much more thriller.

So a lot of people don’t know how to move when they  present. Now they do it naturally but when they present they seem to become so self-conscious  that it inhibits people. So I’m going to say
a phrase. I’m going to say it in two ways,  both are not optimal but you’ll see what happens to the voice and the gesture.

For example: “We’re really excited that you’re here today.”

That’s the first one when I’m not moving at all and you’ll find the voice is flat. The second one, wait for it…

“We’re really excited that you’re here today.” Too much, way too much.

Firstly, if it’s a virtual presentation you really mustn’t go beyond the screen. In Anglo-Saxon cultures you want to keep the gesture highest around here. From  Iran to Italy the gestures can be a little bit higher but only when you really want to emphasize.

Now, the point is to make sure that your vocal pitch is aligned with your gesture and they only centre on your key words or phrases. So instead of looking like Robocop or a mad air traffic controller, what you would really want to do is just focus on the key words or phrases like this :

“We’re really excited to have you here today.”

That’s all. So you use the gesture and the vocal pitch will help you to come across with much more confidence and credibility.

What many people find is that they shake when they present so moving using a gesture,  especially on key words at the beginning of a presentation, helps you to diffuse nervous energy.

So it has a third benefit, apart from sounding confident and looking confident and credible, you also feel calmer because it diffuses energy.

What tends to happen is when people start to shake vocally or physically they say to themselves stop shaking and they hold it in and it gets worse. So finding a key word as soon as possible where you can gesture makes you actually look so much more  calmer and confident.

And there’s a little bit of science behind this. Researchers looked at the value of gesture and how audience will perceive you when you use movement in this way. What they did is they had these CEOs speaking about their companies and they had an audience with EEG sensors attached to monitor their brain waves. Now, what happened is when the CEOs spoke in a way  that didn’t match their content, for example they said “Our stocks have gone up” which is the wrong direction or they said “Our stocks have gone up” and didn’t move at all then what would happen is  the brain waves of the listener went into a dip, like a valley.

Now that’s exactly what happens when suddenly you can’t work out what somebody has said. For example, you’ve lost the volume or you’ve hit a tunnel and you can’t quite decipher what they’ve spoken. So this means that you will  manage to keep your audience with you. They will understand more of what you’ve said simply by using gesture in line with vocal emphasis.

In order for this to become second nature simply apply it to your chat.

So when you’re talking to people ensure that you’re paying attention to your gesture and your pitch and then it will become second nature.


Want to boost your presentation skills but not sure where to start?  I’ve got a range of options for different budgets and durations.  Find one that suits you:  contact me here for a 15 minute Discovery Call.

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