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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Daniel Leister

He thought he would be a natural, but then when it came time to perform, his hands betrayed him—taking on a mind of their own.

Daniel Leister, a junior from Lodi, Ohio, walked onto Ohio University’s Forensics Speech and Debate team during fall quarter of this academic year.

He said he had always been comfortable in front of people, but he didn’t realize that the ability to be a great speaker was an art form, Leister said. There are techniques to body language that emphasize the speech.

One of the most important body parts to consider is the speaker’s hands. Hands should not be distractive to the audience, they should stress a point the speaker is trying to make.

Leister has fine-tuned his overall speaking performance, and now his speech hand gestures are seeping into his social life outside the forensics team.

His friends mimic the purposeful hand motions that appear unnatural in a social context.

But, he is willing to withstand a bit of teasing from his friends if it means he is a successful speaker—his best event is impromptu. He is learning skills that will benefit his future.

Leister is a political science, political communication, pre-law major, with a minor in sociology. He is also in a band called the Epsilon Project, which performs around Athens.

~Jeanna Packard