August 16, 2005 Present Like A Pro Newsletter
Inspiring You to Discover, Develop, & Delight in Your Strengths
Welcome fellow speaker! This weekly newsletter from Present Like A Pro is here to provide you with on-going tips and inspiration as you develop your skills as a speaker. In every issue are practical tools that you can use in your very next presentation.

"Gracefulness is to the body what understanding is to the mind." -Francois De La Rochefoucauld

This edition: 989 words; 2-3 minute read

Where Do I Put My Hands?
by Sara Schaffer   The Art of Effective Gesturing
One of the most common questions I am asked as a Presentation Coach is what do I do with my hands? Because so much of what we say in a speech is conveyed through our body language, this is an important question to answer.

When we get focused on the content of our talk, it's easy to neglect the message we are sending with our hands. Also, consciously trying to figure out what to do with these awkward appendages can be a bit of a mystery. Here are 5 quick steps to help you Present Like A Pro without saying a word.

Step One: Get a third person perspective. Videotape yourself. Stand in front of a mirror as you speak. Work with a coach. These are all effective ways to get accurate, quick feedback on what you are currently doing when you speak. As soon as you see your reflection, you will begin to have an idea of what you are doing well and what needs to improve.

Step Two: Take note of your gestures. What mannerisms do you have? What motions do you use repeatedly as you speak? Do you play with your hair? Do you keep your hands tucked safely in your pockets? Become aware of your current body language.

Step Three: Eliminate irrelevant and ineffective motions. To stop using distracting or unproductive gestures as you speak, simply focus on resting your hands at your sides. Let that become your neutral position instead of crossed arms, clasped hands, hands in pockets, etc.

Step Four: Talk with your hands. Think about what you are trying to say, and then add gestures that illustrate and add to the message you are sharing. If your story is animated, let your motions be as well. If your talk is more stern, use strong, confident body language to emphasize your points.

Step Five: Speak to the whole room. Once you have begun to use your hands more purposefully, the next step is to make your motions large enough for your entire audience to see and experience. Use mid-level, slightly exaggerated gestures to reach out all the way to the back of the room.

The key to developing the art of effective gesturing is practice. As soon as possible, go through these five steps. Once you create a repertoire of natural, meaningful motions, you will begin speaking to your listeners on a whole new level. Figure out where to put your hands, and you will Present Like A Pro!

Turning Inside Beauty Out
  Look as Great as Your Presentation
I have always believed that true beauty is on the inside, but for a long time I mistakenly thought it needed to stay there! This conviction of mine started to change when a mentor at a speaker's conference kindly but directly told me I needed to get a hairstyle and start wearing make-up!

I heeded this forthright advice, and over the years in my process of observing other speakers and developing my own style, I have learned several tips about how to look one's best for a presentation. Here are several thoughts to keep in mind as you dress for your next big talk.

First, wear clothes that fit. This may seem obvious, but clothes that are too small or too big are not flattering and may cause potential distractions for your audience as you speak. For example, make sure the buttons on your shirt lie flat and don't gap as you gesture and move around.

Secondly, dress one step up from your listeners. If you are the presenter at a high- level meeting or formal event, be sure that you are dressed at least as well as your audience. Even in more casual speaking environments, such as Toastmasters, it can be a confidence-booster to dress up more than usual if you are speaking.

Lastly, wear great clothes. Find out what colors flatter you and then wear them in stylish clothing to make you look as great as you sound. Put attractive, well-made pieces in your wardrobe that easily mix and match. If you want more fashion advice, I can give you some references!

If, however, you would like more resources for great speaking, please visit us at!

Need A Speaker?
Do you need a speaker for an upcoming event? In addition to presentation coaching, Sara regularly speaks to a variety of organizations from corporate to community groups. Whether you are looking for something educational, motivational or inspirational, she will add humor and depth to your next special event.

For booking information, contact Sara today at: 303-818-2509 or

Special Offers
Do you work at Ball Aerospace? If so, you can receive Presentation Coaching as part of the training offered by your company! Find out more at the TLC website. Just click on the Other Development link to get to the coaching corner.

***In the June 21st issue, I discussed the benefits of evaluations. For example, they offer us feedback on our speaking effectiveness. They also give us a means to stay connected to people interested in our services and products. For a free sample evaluation form, simply click here.

Visit our website to view previous newsletters and to find out more about the new free surveys available from Present Like A Pro.


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