Remember the “Jesus Pose” to Connect With Your Audience
“When giving a speech, you may be tempted to keep our hands in front of you so you don’t feel exposed and vulnerable. Audiences can pick up on that body language, so try the “Jesus Pose” to connect with them.
Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact, explains on Business Insider how an open stance can draw your audience in:
Most speakers protect themselves by putting their hands in front of their torsos, to feel more comfortable, he says. That is read by the audience as a signal to flee.
When the speaker appears to be protecting him or herself, it implies there’s a significant threat in the room. The audience senses this and thus gets ready to escape, Morgan says. And how well do you imagine they are listening as a result?
So if you want to engage your audience, draw them in, make them feel comfortable, and hold their attention, you’ll want to stand in the ‘Jesus pose,’ he says.
The phrase ‘Jesus Pose’ applies to the open, loving arms that you’ll often see in portrayals. If you don’t like the religious connotation with the pose, just remember to keep your arms spread wide above waist level, palms facing up. Think about connecting with the audience rather than protecting yourself from them—they’ll be more receptive.”