The relationships between and spoken words are an important part of effective public speaking.

can come before the spoken words, during the words, or after them.

Hand can add emphasis to things you say, as you say them.

A good speech hits your audience in the head … and in the heart.

Sometimes, the hand gesture should come before the words to create curiosity.

(hand over eyes). I looked across the busy mall, hoping to find my mother.

Or a gesture can add emphasis to something you just said.

I guess that's just the way things are going to have to be. (shrug)

As you plan your speech, think about the timing of your words and gestures to add the greatest impact.

There's no right or wrong way to do it.

When in doubt, try the words and gestures all three ways until you find a combination that works best for you.