We are often drawn towards people having a good personality. A good personality shows the confidence in you which attracts other people. In public speaking, our body language plays a major role in creating an impact on the audience. The biggest challenge during public speaking is to maintain an impactful posture which is the effect of a good emotional intelligence. The way we deliver our speech is made up of two components namely: Visual and verbal. The visual component, I believe, usually carries more weight with audience members. This comprises mainly of a person’s body language, posture, eye contact and facial expressions. More than half of your impact as a public speaker depends upon your body language. You may control the words you speak, do have control over what you say with your body language?
Body language comprises gesture, stance, and facial expression. When you are speaking before a large audience, all eyes are on you and thus it becomes important to have a good body language by all means. In public speaking, your positive body language helps you in building a reputation with the audience. It also helps your listeners focus on you and what you’re saying.
Verbal expression means using the right words and applying an apt body language with it makes the expression perfect. Body language helps you in conveying your message nonverbally. Public speakers who care about what message they want to convey use their entire body to support the message.
- Look energized and confident while seating. Sit straight up in your chair, spine straight, feet flat on the floor and hands open on the table.
- Avoid giving exaggerated expression which may confuse the audience.
- Stand up straight and face the audience. It is important to keep hands on the sides or hold it gently on the podium. This projects ease.
- Do not sway at the podium as it can distract even the most interested audience.
- Standing behind the lectern must be avoided as it separates you from audience whereas you want to bring them closer.
- The mike height should be properly adjusted as per your need.
- Look at every part of the room. From right to left, front to back so as to make each person in the audience interested in you.
- Use your hands to emphasize a point and to release tension.
- Don’t keep your hands at the back or in your pockets. This shows nervousness.
- Folding your arms across means you are not interested in communicating.
- No matter how strong you are in public speaking but if you slouch, you are sure to create the worst impression on the audience.
- Hold your head high with your chin up. Raised chin gives you the feeling of being in control.
- Scale your gestures according to the size of the room.
- Your movements should be broad and flowing, not hasty and jerky.
- The feet should point straight ahead. When not gesturing, the hands should sit quietly at the sides.
- You can move around, but remember to interpose these movements with stillness from time to time.
- Try to unfreeze your face right from the beginning. Smile while greeting the audience and at other moments during the speech.
- Sometimes, speakers of short stature may choose to walk forward and stand closer to the audience instead of clinging to the lectern to make themselves appear tall.
It is actually difficult for most people to stand up alone in front of a group of people. It’s an odd thing that creates anxiety, tension, and butterflies in the stomach. Being natural is not the short cut to it. We must put an extra effort and apply all our public speaking and presentation skills to be more expressive and more influential. It is worth putting in energy as a lot depends on our body language. Work on your body language to make the most of every public speaking opportunity. When you master appropriate body language, proper movements, eye contact, gestures and posture you are on your way to successful public speaking.
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