Using gestures is a natural thing. Most people even use gestures when they’re on the phone and the person on the other end can’t even see them – that’s how deeply rooted gestures are.
Obviously that makes gestures part of what you need to consider, when you pitch. We’ll give you some pointers, but getting it right is a lot more about feeling, who you are, and what you say, than it is about reading some instruction manual (more on that later).
Instead of saying “do this, do that, but don’t do this!”, I’ll give you a short description, of what characterizes good and bad gestures. This way you get to try them out for yourself, maybe record yourself using the pitching tool we’ve made, so you can have the teleprompter to read from and look at yourself afterwards.
What makes good gestures
As I revealed in the headline of the article, good gestures underline what you’re saying. That comes in different shapes, sizes and forms, and are dependent on you as a person and your message. That means, you need to think about, where the message comes from – you.
There has to be a connection between what you say, and what your body says. This is of course hard, when you speak of an online platform – how do you communicate that with body language? – but when you speak passionately, you can use your hands more, than when your words are not as passionate for instance.
You can use your hands and movements to be more dynamic, when you need to, and to emphasize the important parts with a well timed gesture, with your hand. Always consider this, though – the good gestures are natural and unnoticed.
What makes bad gestures
Bad gestures are of course the opposite – they take away the attention, from what you say, they are disconnected from your message, and they are very noticeable.
The most obvious things, that can go wrong, is, when what you do is very different, from what you say. If you say “there are three reasons someone should choose your product”, and you hold up five fingers, there’s an obvious disconnect. The audience will pick up on that.
Big over- or under statements are another reason for a disconnection between the message and the body language, that can be confusing for an audience. That confusion is what good body language doesn’t create.
Gestures are about making sure, what you say, is understood, how you want it to be understood. They’re about pointing to the right parts of the pitch. They’re about underlining your point and your message.