By Anett Grant, Fast Company

Author Vanessa Edwards and her team watched thousands of hours of TED Talks and noticed something surprising: The least popular TED Talkers used an average of 272 hand gestures during their 18-minute presentations, while the most popular used an average of 465 hand gestures in the same amount of time. As she noted on her blog, that’s almost double.

Gesturing properly can add tremendous impact to your speech. After all, your audience is doing more than listening to your words when you’re giving a presentation. They’re looking out for your body language, expressions, tone of voice, and, yes, your hand gestures. But there are also other, less conspicuous reasons why incorporating gestures can make your talk more effective and compelling. Here are a few of them.

You might be presenting the most exciting material in the world, but if you remain completely still, your voice will be flat, monotone, and dull. For starters, you’ll probably get bored of standing there and not moving, and that boredom will likely register with your listeners, who will get bored themselves. Incorporating gestures, however, makes your voice come alive. It becomes richer, more resonant, and multidimensional. Your audience will be able to hear it, they’ll feel it, too. This creates a virtuous circle: You enliven your delivery, which in turn energizes your listeners.

Read more here.

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