Teenagers are adept at punctuating their conversations with nonverbal signals. This habit is especially annoying to parents, but it can also be instructive for your next business presentation.
A classic example involves a teenager at dinner. The parent asks, “What happened at school today day?” The teenager shrugs and grunts, “Nothing.” That one shrug suggests plethora of meaning. It suggests apathy, lack of engagement, distrust of the parent, a drawing into self…. A shrug suggests.
Comedians are adept at suggestive gestures, but so are professional speakers. Add suggestive gestures to your presentation in the way you might add spices to your soup. Experiment with a shrug, followed by a pause in your next presentation. Try lifting your eyebrows or scratching your head to suggest meaning. Tilt your head quizzically for effect. Have some fun!
The key to using suggestive gestures is to do what you’d do naturally in a conversation, just a bit exaggerated so the audience can catch it. Rehearse to figure out just what “naturally” means to you. You already have effective gestures. Use them purposefully to add power to your presentation.