Blame it on Broca’s Brain.

It’s a part of the brain that’s active when we’re speaking, but is also active when we wave our hands. (The Fascinating Science Behind ‘Talking’ With Your Hands | HuffPost Impact)

Virtually every last VO coach I know of recommends gesticulating while you voice your copy in the booth/studio.

Bear with me,  but I believe that certain people and certain situations do not warrant this admonition.

I’m no VO coach, and I don’t wanna be. But I know what works for me, and flailing around with my hands while I talk is not part of my normal behavior, and in no way enhances my VO performance (I’ve tried).  It doesn’t facilitate my emotions, expressions, or aid in my cognition.  (40 years of TV news anchoring has trained me well…flailing around with my arms while on camera is a definite no-no…I admit that’s unique).

I realize I’m an outlier in my beliefs. See the references below all of which state the advantages of using hand motions while talking.

The Science of Talking With Your Hands

Gesturing saves cognitive resources when talking about nonpresent objects (

Why do we move our hands when we talk I: Finding the right words | Psychology Today

The Fascinating Science Behind ‘Talking’ With Your Hands | HuffPost Impact.  

The science is not setled, though, and I offer the following:

Four situations where gesticulating while voicing is a bad idea:

  1. “Talking with your hands” is not your normal method of communicating
  2.  The script demands a thoughtful (anthem-like) or subdued delivery
  3.  You find your movements registering on your audio timeline (or you’re hitting the        sides of your booth or     mic)
  4. It’s clear using hand movement is NOT helping your interpretation/delivery of the        copy

Tellya what — just like the first time you tried talking in the booth without headphone, and found it likeable…maybe not talking with your hands will also be a tool in your kit.  Give it a whirl…join the ranks of the un-demonstrative!


A few more articles worth considering:

Do YOU Talk With Your Hands? The Answer Can Be Surprisingly Revealing… |

How hand gestures alter the perception of your speech – Big Think

Top ten hand gestures to avoid when you speak | Ginger Leadership Communications (




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