Are your hands telling others things you don’t want them to know?
Did you know that we “leak” our emotions in our gestures, fiddles and fidgets … telling those around us how we feel via our body language, and usually completely unconsciously!
I’m sure you’ve been irritated by someone clicking a retractable pen or tapping their pen on the table top and when you comment they are completely unaware of what they are doing.
What about those who twirl or push back their hair or who constantly stroke their own arm?
All signals that the speaker may not feel as confident as they would like to, and all signals that they are likely unaware of.
Why not record yourself to see if you are a “fiddler”. (You can set up your phone to record you while on a Zoom meeting or get a friend to record you when speaking at the front of the room.)
Only you need see the recording but you do need to know if you are a “fiddler” as those fidgets and fiddles are being read by others and undermining your authority.
If you are a hugger or stroker then generally you will be perceived as unsure or in need of reassurance whereas if you fiddle with hair, jewellery or what’s in your pockets you will come across as nervous or agitated.
And if you are only stroking your arm because it’s sore, your audience won’t know that, so the perception will be that you are scared … unless you tell them upfront!
And if you are unconsciously leaking your emotions? Then you can start training yourself not to. If you can, keep your hands at your side … imagine you are holding a roll of 10p’s in each hand.
If your hands can’t be seen (if you are Zooming) then hold something in your hand so you can’t be seen fiddling or if on stage try holding a bottle or glass or a pen … just not a retractable one!