Your palm faces the listener/reader for the following letters:

A B C D E F    I J K L M N O   R S T U V W X Y Z

Your palm faces down for the letters:

                                    P & Q

Your palm faces left (for right-handed signers) and right (for left-handed signers) for the letters:

                                   G & H

Picture a bull’s eye on your palm and be sure it is always facing the person you are fingerspelling to. If they are seated to your side, then aim the bull’s eye towards them.  If you are fingerspelling to a group of people, then pick a spot in the middle of the group and aim the bull’s eye there!

Try not to bounce and keep your hand steady when you finger spell.

For example:

Easy to read:           BAG


Difficult to read:                                            B


Can you imagine reading text where the letters are all over the page?  A  person reading your fingerspelling would experience the same difficulty if your hand was bouncing!

The only time a letter bounces or moves is when you have double letters.  For example:    BAGGAGE

You can either help the second G to stand out by bouncing the second G up and down or move your hand slightly to the right (for right-handed people) or left (for left-handed people) for the second G, then continue spelling the word from that position.

It’s really helpful for the individual reading your fingerspelling not to say each letter as you fingerspell a word. Many people do this to help them fingerspell the word correctly.  Saying each letters as you fingerspell a word can be very distracting for the person reading your fingerspelling as the focus becomes trying to understand the letter on your lips rather than the word itself.  Letters often sound and look-alike on the lips.   The person who is late-deafened has a much better chance of speechreading the complete word rather than the individual letters.

Instead of fingerspelling the complete word, try fingerspelling commonly known abbreviations (BBQ, AC, TD, HS, USA) as you say the complete word (barbecue, air conditioning, touchdown, high school, United States of America).