We all have habits – they usually go with our personalities and towards making us the people all our friends and families know – but some habits are more acceptable than others when speaking in public. You do not want your audience to be distracted by your continual flicking of your hair, wiping or blowing your nose, sniffing when concentrating or always checking your watch etc.
The most unhelpful habit a speaker can have is the one that is very common but is particularly annoying for the hard of hearing in an audience. Even those who can hear perfectly well are put off by the people who insist on holding a hand over their mouths while speaking. At a meeting I attended last week a man gave out notices threw his fingers, as if his chin was incapable of supporting itself and needed to be held quite firmly.
Don’t speak through your fingers or from behind a hand. If you have such a habit, practise doing something to stop it, such as holding your notes firmly or just holding something in the hand that usually can’t help itself. Find some way to temporarily stop your habit. It will be remembered by all those present and some might not be able to hear you.