Getting Over Yourself

February 26, 2013

Watch out for those wrists when you’re speaking

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 12:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

Body language is pretty thoroughly covered in many sources. But there are some things I see people do fairly often that aren’t sending the right message and yet don’t show up much in body language discussions. And they happen both in conversation and in presentations.

One major thing that I see a lot is bent wrists. You see people flapping their wrists back and forth rather than gesturing with the whole arm or forearm. And sometimes when they come to the end of a thought, then bend those wrists to fold one hand over the other. It looks quite stilted and distracts from the message. My goal always is for the speaker to be invisible, that is, to not distract from the message by doing things that aren’t natural and draw attention to themselves.

Another distraction is tension your upper arm that essentially glues it to your body and results in tight motions from elbow to hand. In general gestures should be fluid and not involve serious bending of individual joints–wrists, elbows, fingers.

You can look in the mirror to see how tight it looks when you limit your motion in this way.

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