Body Language Tips In Public Speaking
Date: September 7, 2016
You can script what you’re going to say in a speech, but controlling your body when you’re nervous is a whole other story.
As speakers, we are not only judged on our utterances, but appearance too; it’s the human’s natural instinct to judge what we see.
Here are some body language tips to keep your audience engaged throughout your stage time.
Body Language Tips For Speakers
Visual communication is just as important as verbal. We pick up on people’s feelings, attitude and personality just by their stance and movements.
Today, we’re sharing our best body language tips for budding speakers.
Move With Purpose
Every step you take and arm movement has to add something to your speech. As fastidious as it might seem, it’s important that your gestures do not contradict what you’re saying.
For example, when talking about a heart-breaking story, a flimsy arm action will divert the audiences’ attention away from your speech, and turn to wondering what your arm is doing.
Those lost seconds can never be reincarnated.
Use Natural Gestures
With so much focus on your body language, you may end up looking a little too rigid. That is absolutely not the effect you want. Everything should feel and look natural.
It’s as important that it feels comfortable to you as it is for the audience.
Practice speaking in front of a mirror with plenty of emotion. Be conscious of what your body yearns to do. Certain words and sentences will dig deeper into the core and require the hands to emphasise your point.
Work with what comes naturally and memorise it for the actual presentation.
Just by sitting in a coffee shop and watching people order, you can pick out the confident individuals by how they present themselves.
If you’re feeling nervous, you’ll want to bow your head and hide away from the crowd. But this indicates that you’re powerless and not in control of the situation.
So here are a few ways to project confidence with your body:
- Hold your chin up. Not too high that your head rises and you have to look down on your audience. But not too low that it’s pointing to the ground. Strike a balance in-between
- Relax your shoulders. Take a deep breath and allow them to drop to a comfortable position. If they’re relaxed, it will help you to relax
- Stand tall and move from the upper-body, not the hips. You don’t want to slouch and appear cocky
- Hold your arms in a V position. This opens up the body and suggests a universal welcoming
- Take a step back when you want to give the audience a few seconds to reflect on your points
- Walk around the stage and move towards the audience for your most important points
- Don’t forget to relax your facial muscles and smile when it’s necessary
No speech is ever the same, because our stories and mantras are totally unique. Everyone has a unique body too, so the fascinating thing is that you physically express yourself different to every other speaker.
Don’t try to be someone else or look like another speaker, because your body language is a reflection of what you feel on the inside.
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