What To Do With Your Hands and Arms When Speaking

85% of what you communicate is not with words. It’s through the tone of your voice, the way you sit and a wealth of other messages that your body involuntarily sends.

Stand up straight… that’s easy.  Smile… also, hopefully not too difficult.  But one of the most awkward problems people have with confident body language is what to do with their hands and arms?!?

  • Clasping your hands is a signal that you are closed off.
  • Putting your palms together with one thumb over the other says that you need reassurance.
  • You should never cross your arms over your chest, since this gives the impression that you are not in agreement, closed off, defensive or insecure.
  • Open hands and showing palms show that nothing is being concealed.

To come across confident, have your hands open and relaxed on the table or at your side. When your body is open, you project trustworthiness and will actually feel more confident. It is ok to use some hand gestures while speaking, as long as they’re in sync with what you’re saying, and not too wild.

Confident Posture – why and how

Today’s topic is on Posture.

You can tell so much about a person, (how they’re feeling, how they feel about themselves, their surroundings…). It can even effect how others feel about you and respond to you!  So A confident posture is important.

To help achieve good posture while looking relaxed and confident:

Take a deep breath and pull your shoulders back while sitting (or standing) up straight. Then relax your shoulders and exhale. Do this more than once if you’re particularly nervous. It gives you a burst of confidence and allows for good breathing. It can also help you to avoid or reduce feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

While attended a networking event in St. Louis, I ran into a friend I’ve known for a while. He suggested that you take both arms and put them straight up in the air while taking a deep breath. (come on, those of you reading this… get those arms up). Now slowly drop your arms down to your sides while exhaling. (feels good, doesn’t it?). This is also a very effective way to relax and show good posture, though you may not want to do this one in the lobby while waiting for your interviewer. ;)

Posting Your Bio or Resume on Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is rapidly becoming more and more popular for professionals and job seekers. Recruiters and hiring managers love LinkedIn because of all the good, accurate information provided on a potential candidate. In fact, some recruiters say they are more likely to believe what they see in a LinkedIn profile than a standard resume. This is because your LinkedIn profile is more public and since your former co-workers and supervisors are probably connected, you’re less likely to embellish. :)

With the average viewer being 7 to 10 times more likely to view a video than to read an article, it’s a good idea to post your video resume on your LinkedIn profile. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One, of course, is by simply adding a web site link to your profile that points to your video resume on YouTube. The other, probably a better solution, is to post the video directly on your profile.

In order to do this, you will need to create a presentation that contains one slide with the video embedded. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Upload your video resume to YouTube

2. Add the application “Google Presentations” to your LinkedIn profile (Choose “Edit My Profile” then click “Add Applications”)

3. Create a presentation

4. Select “Insert” | “Video” from the main menu inside the Google Presentation editor

5. Find your video resume on YouTube (a dialog box allows you to search)

6. “Save & Close” (in the upper right corner)

7. Now go back to LinkedIn and Post the presentation to your profile (click the “Post to Profile” link for the presentation).