Do you talk with your hands?
An interesting article on how to adapt body language for video conferencing is making me struggle. It (and other web conferencing experts) generally advise restraining hand gestures so that they don’t overwhelm and annoy your audience.
But a lot of people need their hands to talk. One of the first things my clients often ask is if they can carry on using gesture to help make their point when speaking.
In her book Mind in Motion, psychologist Barbara Tversky, suggests a strong connection between gesture and thought. She cites research that found that 70% of people were less articulate when asked to sit on their hands and describe some road instructions than when they were allowed to use them.
The hands weren’t there to reinforce a point. They were crucial to formulating and articulating the thinking behind it. But translate that to Zoom and an action that helps the speaker may end up annoying the audience and tiring them out.
Fascinating times to be adjusting how we communicate and the impact that it will have on speaker and audience alike.