May 14, 2010

Where to put your hands -- Harry Connick, Jr. style

Wondering what to do with your arms and hands? Do you think it feels weird to just rest them at your sides when not gesturing?

Take a lesson from veteran performer Harry Connick, Jr. Notice how comfortable he is with a minimum of movement throughout the performance. When the saxophone player starts his solo at about 1:44, you'll see Harry put both arms at his sides and wait patiently for the solo to end. He's incredibly laid-back, not rushing, not fidgeting.

Of course, if you're more "handsy" like I am, you may rarely take a rest! But be assured that it does not look weird or awkward to rest your hands at your sides.

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4 comments. Please add yours! :

Unknown said...

Thanks for this great example. My clients always initially question my recommendation to keep their hands at their sides as a "neutral" position (rather than on the a lectern, in pockets, behind back, clasped in front, etc.) between interesting gestures. I'll have to start sharing this clip with them. Thank you!
Christine Clapp
President, Spoken with Authority

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for your comment, Christine! I hope the clip helps your clients. I hope it helps mine, too!

stattkatze said...

If you watch 1.44+ closely, you’ll also see that he leans just a touch backwards, as if into a invisible hand.

That is a nice way of practicing a "held back" posture. Lean into your own invsible support (make it a hand, or a warm and friendly wall ...) and breathe quietly through what feels akward at first and can become very comfortable soon.

Worth a try, if you feel doing "nothing" is strange. Very grounding exercise.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

stattkatze, what a great observation! Thank you for pointing that out.

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