Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nonverbal Communication Skills: Hand Gestures That Are Valueless and Diminish One's Presentation & Stature

It is common to see a communicator using hand gestures that do absolutely nothing to emphasize or accentuate his or her points and instead, as is often the case, even weaken or diminish that person’s stature. A case in point: in the video clip below, you’ll see Ed Rollins, one of America’s most respected political analysts and consultants, using his hands in a sort of robotic, automaton-like manner--he clasps and unclasps them more than 10 times within just 28 seconds. Such hand gestures, which I call "reflexive" and "knee-jerk" (because they result when a speaker loses control of his or her hands and which come about as a natural reaction to the stresses produced within the body when a person is trying to articulate something at a key moment) do nothing to strengthen one's utterance or enhance one's personality. In fact, they can be very distracting, even ludicrous!

Video clip of Ed Rollins

My next post will feature a video clip of a top executive displaying exemplary use of the hands--a style that every professional (male or female) should strive to emulate.

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