Hand Gesturing in Public Speaking - a Complete Overview!
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Hand Gesturing in Public Speaking - a Complete Overview!

An in-depth, step-by-step, guided program on using your hands to aid your words to make a Powerful speech!
3.9 (8 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
23 students enrolled
Created by Joseph Prabhakar
Last updated 3/2016
Current price: $12 Original price: $30 Discount: 60% off
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  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Learn why it is important to use the right gesturing to accompany the content you are delivering.
  • Build on it by learning the basics of hand gesturing and lay the foundation to becoming a great speaker.
  • Continue the journey to master some advanced techniques in hand gesturing that professionals use to deliver a memorable speech.
  • By the end of the course, you will have a complete understanding and collection of most of the techniques you will need in corporate and not-for-profit speaking situations!
View Curriculum
  • An open mind to learn and engage.
  • That's it. Not much else is needed.


Thank you so very much for taking this course! For someone whose central theme in life is gratitude, this means a whole lot to me. Thank you.

Communicating effectively is at the core of building a great career or business. At the heart of communication is substance and style. The content you want your audience to know and how you will deliver the content. The combination of great content with memorable delivery is what makes a great speech memorable.

Having great content is only 50% of the equation. Having a compelling delivery is the other 50%. In fact researchers would argue that content accounts only for 7% of the equation. That leaves a whopping 93% open for verbal and gestural variety to influence your audience.

A course on Public Speaking can be about a lot of different things. It could be a broad overview of everything that goes into the wonderful world of speaking in front of an audience. However, if you are focused on building the right skills to becoming a good speaker, then you need to take a deep dive and learn the components of speaking thoroughly. 

And that is what this course does. It gives a thorough treatment to one aspect of public speaking. Hand gesturing is a big part of the gestural variety that expert speakers use to convey their information. This course will take you from the very basics to the most advanced concepts in hand gesturing. And that is why this is called a pro-series course.

Whether you are just learning to speak in public or you are an experienced speaker, you will find a ton of techniques, tools and even traps to avoid on your way to becoming a polished speaker.

I would love for you to build your career or take it to even greater heights by communicating your points of view powerfully and memorably. This course will help you further your communication skills in some unique ways.

Join me as we explore the wonderful world of gesturing!



Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for any aspiring speaker. You could be speaking in your office, to your team, to your boss, peers or customers. No matter the audience, this course will present the techniques that will come in handy in all those situations.
  • You could be a novice speaker. Or an experienced professional who can use some reinforcements in delivering powerful speeches. No matter where you are on the experience spectrum, this course will have techniques and tools for you.
  • This course is a deep-dive into one aspect of public speaking viz. hand gesturing. By taking a deep dive, you will build the thoroughness and familiarity to get the non-verbal skills that will make your speeches powerful and memorable.
Compare to Other Public Speaking Courses
Curriculum For This Course
55 Lectures
Course Introduction
6 Lectures 13:05

Hello! Welcome to this course! This section is a quick overview to this entire program. Here you will learn the overview of the various tools, techniques and tips we will cover in this course, the exercises that will help you implement the concepts and what to avoid in the process. Looking forward to sharing my time and experience with you. Please let me know what else you would like to see added to this program.

Preview 04:27

Why did I choose to call this a PRO series as opposed to a regular course? While a regular course takes a broad view of the landscape - say - of public speaking, this course, focuses on one aspect of public speaking viz. hand gesturing. By moving your hands in specific and intentional ways, you can create a profound impact on your audience and how they perceive you as a speaker. This course, will give a full treatment to the subject and hence the name PRO series.

Preview 01:29

You will learn who this course is suitable for! No matter where a speaker is on the experience spectrum he/she has to master gesturing if he/she wants to make a meaningful impact on the audience. Find out more!

Preview 01:08

Listen to this video to find out what exactly you will learn in this course. Knowing exactly what you are getting into, is key to setting your mind to achieving a goal. And that is precisely what you will learn here; a detailed description of the concepts covered in this course.

Preview 01:53

It's only fair to know what is not being covered as part of this course. I'd say it is as equally important as knowing what is being covered in the program. That is exactly what you will hear in this module.

Preview 01:26

There is a ton of techniques in here. Most possible situations are covered. But what is important is to figure out how to consume all this content. Should you see it all? Or should you see portions of the course? How should you practice? How should you apply the concepts in your speech? I will explain all that and more in this module.

Preview 02:42
Learning to use Hand Gestures in your Speech / Presentation
10 Lectures 27:00

Before you take a deep dive into the course, it is important to understand the basics, the fundamentals and start building your knowledge on top of it. This module will give you an overview of the foundational aspects of hand gesturing. 


Any skill comes with its definition, elaboration and boundary. Of the things you need to learn. And focus on. Things to be aware of. And things to avoid. This module will give a thorough overview of the ground rules involved in hand gesturing. The rich collection of best practices will help increase the appreciation for hand gesturing in speaking and presenting. 

18 Rules that will make your gestures even more effective

Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!


What is a base position? And why does every speaker need one? How does a base position contribute to effective gesturing and hence speaking? Learn this and more in this module.

Base Position

Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!


What is the most common hand position that speakers adopt? No matter where they are in the world. Across cultures and geographies, people use one hand gesture more than the others. It is not inherently bad by itself. But using it with caution will help you become a great speaker. This module will point out this common hand position and how to use it judiciously.

Most Common Hand Position

Even the most accepted hand gestures can be overused and made to look distracting. This is one such gesture. But, this is also, one of the more refined gestures available to any speaker. In this module, you will see how to use it in a way that the value of the gesture will stand out in any situation.

Another common hand gesture aka the STEEPLE

What is squaring up? And why do it? What happens if you don't square up? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this module.

Squaring Up

You are an open minded person. And hence an open minded speaker. You are open to ideas. Open to suggestions, comments and even advice. But how do you convey that to your audience? What gesture will help you convey that sense of openness to any audience that you are speaking with?


Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!

15 Lectures 29:54

This section is where the rubber meets the road. The place you will start learning all the various techniques that you can learn and add to your toolkit. A ton of them. This module is intended to introduce the contents of this section and help explain what you can look forward to.


Learn to handle enumeration with poise and maturity. One of the most common gestures in any speaking engagement is to count. This module will show you the right way to count and why doing it this way will help your speeches be more effective.


How do you tell your audience that your portfolio is growing? That the project is moving fast enough? Learn some ways to show progress with your hands. And improvise on those techniques to come up with your own variations that will add variety and color to your presentations.

Showing Growth and Progress

Comparing numbers? Or showing timelines? Each of these have a specific gesturing technique associated with it. Knowing it and learning to use it will add that level of refinement to your speeches.


Showing the sum total of or the whole of something is a skill by itself. But what is even more challenging is showing a portion of something; a part of something. Like a portion of the funds. Or a part of the project. This module will get you started on the gestural variety available to show these quantities.

Part of and Portion of

Corporate presentation or a not-for-profit speech - you will have to show how perceptions shift. How ideas change! Or the before and after states of something! Having specific gestures for these advanced thought processes will subconsciously alert the audience as to how much of a polished speaker you are. There are any number of ways to show shifts in perspective. This module will show you some. And you can build upon those to put your own unique stamp on it.

Change or Shift in Perspective

From time to time you will have to show a report or other artifact to the audience. Doing so in a way that continues to keep the audience engaged is important. This module will show you how to point to an artifact even while you keep the audience engaged.

Using Visual Aids

How do you make a point? You are trying to score one with your words. Won't it be awesome if your hand gestures can match your words to make for a memorable anchor in the minds of your audience? This module will show you how to time the gesture with your words to make for that special emphatic moment.


From showing tiny amounts to vastly large numbers, every speaker should have a set of gestures that will come in handy no matter the quantity. This module will show you several gestures that you can add to your tool kit to demonstrate quantity.


You have made up your mind! You want the project to proceed in a specific direction! How do you indicate such decisive moments without coming across too rudely or offensively. The higher up you are in the management chain, the more the need for showing decisiveness in your speeches and presentations. This module will show you how you can do that.


There are two sides to every coin. Two political parties. Two completely different view points. Two groups of people who don't agree on something. We all come across such situations that need to be articulated in a way that the audience can understand and remember. The gestures in this module will demonstrate a few ways to do that.

Separating / Differentiating

Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!


Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!


Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!


Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!

Negative Gestures & Gestures to be used Sparingly
6 Lectures 08:03

Who are we kidding? Every speaker has to communicate negative ideas, happenings, decisions and thoughts from time to time. This is a fact of life. How can you do that without bringing a gloomy, depressive and dark feeling in the room or hall you are in? How can you convey negative emotions with the same poise as you would communicate a neutral or a positive emotion. This introduction will setup the stage to learn a series of techniques in the negative category.


Yeah sure, no one wants to come across as an arrogant individual in front of any audience. But being presented with a situation where conveying a no-nonsense attitude is not that uncommon. You should be able to show that you mean it and you want it done in a certain way. The gestures in this module will show you some ways to do that.

Ordering, Showing Dominance, No-Nonsense Gestures

"I got it". "Let me take it from here". "Ok. Ok. Now, that is enough". How do you convey all these using hand gestures. Trust me, you can. And you can do that in a way that is not overbearing or overwhelming your audience. 


From keeping things aside, to asking the audience to completely forget about a situation, the need to demonstrate sweeping-ideas-off-the-table comes up all too often. This module will show specific gestures to do that.

Sweeping Gestures

"Ok. Let's put this on the parking lot and revisit it later". "This is not something I am comfortable discussing at this point in time.". And a number of other such ideas and emotions can be communicated effectively using hand gestures. When combined with the right choice of words, it is possible to do that without sounding offensive and rude. Learn about that one technique in this module.

The Claw

Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!

Points of View!
8 Lectures 10:44

This module will help set the stage for learning the art of communicating points of view. Whether it is talking about one's own self, or the group we belong to or a third party point of view for that matter, there is a ton of gestures that can be used to communicate all of that. 


Referring to one's own self is a rich opportunity to make the speech personal, emotional and to connect with the audience. The time to convey 'I' is usually a fraction of a second, but if you combine the word with the gesture and act out the 'I', it will make for a powerful landing with the audience. This module will show you how.


Uniting a group and showing the power of a team are powerful ways to deliver a town hall meeting or to kick off a project. Emphasizing 'we' is at the core of this module. And when combined with the right choice of words, you can warm up any audience and give calls to action that will sound more appealing and actionable.

We / Us

Pointing to a group of people or trying to isolate one person from the crowd. Both situations call for specific gestures that will convey the idea without sounding or looking any bit offensive. Context is key. And so is the choice of words that go with the gesture. This module will show how you can use gestures to go with the words to convey "you" in singular and plural situations.


Differentiating between two opposing groups becomes necessary from time to time. How do you do that without starting a war? This module will show you couple of gestural variations that can help differentiate groups and when combined with the right choice of words, you can do that without inciting any bad or negative feelings.


Demonstrating the concept of a family is a key requirement - whether you are referring to your own family or the fact that you consider your team as being part of a big happy family. How can you kick this up a notch and add some pizzazz to the gesture and make it look even more empowering and memorable? This module will show a golden nugget that when used consciously (and after a ton of practice) can help show the feeling of connection a family can bring.


Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!


Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!

5 Lectures 06:07

Great speakers are comfortable, and even prefer, delivering their speeches while they are free to walk around on the stage. However, what if you are required to be standing behind a podium or sitting behind a desk. This module will introduce this topic and help you get on the journey where you are not free to walk about on the stage.


Tied to a podium or lectern. That certainly will limit the extent of your hand gestures. But with the space left, you can still be effective behind the podium as you are without it. Take a look!

Behind a Podium

Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!


Speaking is better on the feet than on the seat. But you don't always get to decide how you can deliver the speech. But being ready to deliver a speech sitting, calls for some deliberate know-how and practice which can be put to good use, when you called to do just that. This module will prepare you for that need.


Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!

Gestures to Avoid
3 Lectures 08:46

A ton of hand gestures that come in handy for every possible scenario including some that can be used in negative scenarios. Now it is time to learn the ones that are better off avoided or used ever so sparingly. This section will introduce you to those gestures.


"Is it ok to have my hands in my pockets while delivering a speech?"  Why? Why not? This and four other such topics are the point of the conversation in this module. Makes for some great learning and wonderful speaking experience.

Five positions to avoid

Outside of the cultural connotations in using the fingers and fist appropriately, there are a number of do's and don't in how to use them body parts. This module will get you started on the appropriate use of fingers and fist and help you then build your own based on where you are delivering the speech or the audience profile or demography.

Finger and Fist
2 Lectures 04:36

That is a ton of learning right there. Over ninety minutes of content on just hand gesturing. Now it's time to think through all of them and come up with a strategy to practice and put them to good use. Join me in recalling the highlights of the course and to reinforce some key concepts.

Bringing it all together!

Take a moment to practice this exercise before you move ahead in this course!

About the Instructor
Joseph Prabhakar
3.6 Average rating
307 Reviews
4,738 Students
4 Courses
CEO, Power Communication Corp

Joseph Prabhakar is a keynote speaker, communication expert, personal branding consultant and a certified executive coach. As the CEO of Power Communication Corp. Joseph helps leaders communicate with purpose and intention to their teams, customers and stakeholders. Utilizing techniques and best practices from multiple disciplines, Joseph offers programs that are powerful, engaging, memorable and delivers immense value to his clients.

Prior to forming Power Communication Corp, Joseph was an accomplished corporate leader with over 20 years in a variety of progressive roles and leadership responsibilities across geographies. While not speaking or teaching, Joseph loves to spend time with his family, read and spend time tending to his plants.