E3 Presenters Faced A Well Known Challenge: Their Hands

Public speaking isn't easy. (I'm not good at it at all.) One of the hardest things to do when you're on stage in front of a lot of people is figure out what the hell to do with your hands. A lot of people at E3 don't seem to have figured this out.

Electronic 3 is an event that thrusts a lot of people who aren't necessarily used to talking to the public onto a giant stage where they are forced to do exactly that. Viewers scrutinise these poor unfortunate souls just because they happen to be on a stage or livestream. Now - what the hell was Chris Avellone doing with his hands?

Avellone is one of my favourite writers in games, and I respect him a lot. He also looks just as nervous as I would in this circumstance, which humanises him for me.

After I noticed Avellone's weird hand position, I started noticing everyone else's. Phil Spencer clearly does not know where his hands are supposed to go when he's talking.

I was also really feeling for this community manager for Elder Scrolls Legends on stage at Bethesda's conference, who looks like he realised he had hands exactly at this moment.

In my experience when you're holding your hands this close to your pockets, what you're thinking is, "Should I just put my hands in my pockets?" You probably should. But now you haven't because you missed the moment when it would have been normal and no one would have noticed.

This community developer on Rainbow Six Siege saw what Avellone was doing with his hands and decided to try it at Ubisoft's press conference.

Laurent Malville, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, mostly just held his hands out like he was holding a medium-sized box, which isn't a bad strategy.

Not everyone looked like a deer in headlights up on stage. Unsurprisingly, people like Shawn Layden, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive America, did not seem all that uncomfortable addressing a large group of people. But I was honestly most impressed by Todd Howard. He walked around, addressed the crowd, and knew when to use a gesture to punctuate a sentence.

The next time I do public speaking, which is hopefully never, I'll try to take some tips from Howard. In the meantime, I don't want to think about how weird hands are for a while.


Comments

    I can just picture the exchange between hands-on-pockets guy and his PR person just as he started walking out on stage: "Remember what we went through: Don't look down. Look up at the crowd and engage them. Remember to smile, but don't over do it. Oh, and wait! Remember not to put your hands in your pockets! It looks unprofessional!"

    With such short notice, walking out into the spotlight, he had nothing to fall back on. Now he found himself as a man with his head cocked back, unable to remember how one is meant to smile casually, with his hands.. on his pockets.

    All I know about hands and public speaking is you never milk the little cow three times in a row, gotta shake an imaginary ballon in between or set down the the invisible bowl to break it up.

    I always carry a baseball bat or golfclub when public speaking. Give it a go, seriously. Puts me right at ease and i usually knock it out of the park.

      I see what you did there. ;)
      might try this (although maybe with an item that's a little less wacky wacky and a little more huggy huggy….unless of course the point is supposed to be something that can be swung)

      do you also walk through the crowd menacingly, occasionally pausing behind an audience member to tap the bat against your palm a few times..... you know, to build suspense.

      That would really take the stress off the speaker and put it onto the audience. Great tip for presenters!

        And to make sure your audience is paying attention, every five minutes ask a random attendee what you just said. If they get it wrong, break their hands.

    Also, i never want to meet Phil Spencer just in case he isn't actually the most righteous and cool stoner dude in the world like i imagine him to be. I couldn't handle the disappointment.

    He looks like he's permanently trying not to tip over backwards.

    Last edited 14/06/18 10:47 pm

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