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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Using Your Palms in a Presentation

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


May 22, 2017

"This month Sustaining the Thinking Collaborative Journey is focusing on some of the micro-skills of presenting that are addressed in the Presenters Forum. The Forum is available to anyone wishing to become a more masterful presenter and to those wanting to become an Adaptive Schools or Cognitive CoachingSM trainer in association with Thinking Collaborative. This year’s Presenters Forum will be held in Lone Tree, Colorado, on September 18-21, 2017. Registration is available online at

In Thinking Collaborative’s Presenters Forum we offer tips on nonverbal tools and their effects on a presentation. One that is emphasized is palms up versus palms down as you emphasize points. Palms up signals openness, honesty, and welcoming messages. Palms down is a gesture of power and control and exerting strength and authority. A simple shift in position of hands can send a different message to an audience. Once again, this week, notice how you are using your hands and practice in authentic situations. Ask yourself what feels most natural to you and strive to become both conscious and craftsmanlike in your efforts.

Source: Wezowski, K. Harvard Business Review. April 6, 2016."

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