During a recent trip to Italy, I had the incredible opportunity to facilitate VOICE, our global presentation and communication skills program, for a group of VPs and Directors. The session began to explore the intriguing world of non-verbal communication when a curious VP asked,
“Tamara, what should I do with my hands when I present?”
This question stemmed from his acknowledgment of his own passionate and expressive nature, coupled with the common practice in Italy of using hands and non-verbal gestures to articulate thoughts.
As he asked the question, his natural charisma was on full display through his expressive, confident, and endearing non-verbal cues. It was clear that he wanted specific guidance on hand movements, yearning to know exactly what he was doing right or wrong and what adjustments were necessary.
Rather than providing a prescriptive answer, I encouraged him to continue using his hands as he naturally would when he communicates. His reaction mirrored a blend of puzzlement and relief.
I emphasized that the most important aspect of non-verbal communication is maintaining authenticity. If he altered his natural non-verbal style abruptly,
it could potentially affect other facets of his communication, such as confidence, verbal articulation, and audience connection.
AUTHENTICITY IS THE KEY TO CONNECTION!
So, here’s my advice for my friend in Italy and for all of you here today:
- Record yourself while presenting and watch the video back with the sound off
- Look for any distracting non-verbal elements that could be hindering your connection with the audience
- Make subtle adjustments where necessary
BUT never forget—your non-verbals are an expression of who you are. While there are always areas for growth to ensure you are being the best version of yourself, the key is to never lose yourself in the process!
If you need help with your presentation skills, consider exploring **VOICE**, our award-winning presentation/communication skills program, or schedule a complimentary presentation coaching session today. Click Here