I’ve always talked with my hands. In fact, it would probably be difficult for me to engage in an interesting conversation while sitting on my palms. When I was a child, my Irish grandmother strongly discouraged me from using my hands while speaking. To her, it was déclassé.
Sorry, Nana. You were wrong.
As a podcaster, I’ve always known that I would get the most energy in my voice while standing – and gesticulating. Even before I started podcasting, I did some voiceover work, and always found myself actively using my hands for emphasis or rhythm.
Last week, Mark Bowden, who spoke to our IABC/Toronto Professional Independent Communicators group about body language (he was fabulous, by the way), confirmed that not only should we motion with our hands at the level of the “truth plane” (near the navel) when speaking in front of people, but that we should also do so while talking on the phone or recording a podcast. This action conveys energy and authority, and encourages our audience to believe us. Thanks for confirming what I'd always thought to be true, Mark.
Then, just the other day, April Dunford, who was a guest on the Tweep in Profile podcast I produce for Andy Donovan, joked about using her hands while she is being recorded. I’m not surprised, because April speaks with passion, both in person and on podcasts.
Nana, you were also wrong about indoor boots damaging the eyesight, but we’ll save that for another post.