Body language is a major part of your non-verbal communication. It includes your gestures, postures, and your movements. The way you talk, the way you move around the stage and the way you look are all a part of your body language. It is rightly said that “actions speak louder than words”.
Why Is Body Language Important?
We are always interested in knowing what does the facial expression of a person means, what is the meaning of those gestures or postures so overall we all are very much fascinated by the body language of the other person.
Body language plays a vital role in public speaking along with other spheres of life. Your body language depicts your level of confidence. Your positive body language can really impress your audience and thus it plays a really vital role in public speaking. But, at the same time, the moment your body language has something negative in it, it may turn off your audience completely towards you and you might not be able to undo this negative body language. You may lose your creditability towards the audience. So, in public speaking, your body language is as important as your words are. Here are 6 On Stage Body Language Tips.
5 Non-Verbal Negative Signs of Body Language
1. Unpleasant posture or attitude
The audience is clever enough in judging your attitude by seeing your posture. Fallen shoulders and chest caved-in are a clear indication that you are not very much willing to take the world with yourself, you are not ready to take any responsibility. Such a posture shows that your attitude and confidence level is low. The way you would stand, your audience would stand in the same way. Just check yourself in the mirror with sunken shoulders and caved-in chest. Do you like seeing yourself like this? Now straighten yourself up and see how you feel. It is a sure shot that you would feel confident and would feel more capable of doing things. Click here to read about body language and posture.
2. Using the space inefficiently
We generally emphasize mainly on our gesture and we almost forget how important it is to use the stage efficiently and effectively. We must not forget that if we do not utilize the space that we have and stand in just one place throughout the presentation, we may just look like a statue which is not what the audience has come to see. A public speaker must know how he can use his body language so that he can use the space he is been provided. This would show that the speaker is comfortable with the whole space. Standing at different spots on the stage at each of the points that you wish to mention may help the audience to retain them better. When you move around the stage, it shows that you have a command over the stage. Here is how to use the stage effectively.
3. Having improper eye contact
Even if you have great speech content but you are just talking to the floor or the walls while delivering this content then the content and your speech just goes waste. Also, if you are giving a PowerPoint presentation with your eyes only on the screen to read out the content, then your audience feels ignored and can never connect with you in this way. A speaker must be good at making eye contact with the audience so that the audience feels connected with you. Even if you are having some notes, keep looking at the audience from time to time. Read more about eye contact skills here.
4. Using the objects in a clumsy way
Some people do not use a whiteboard or flip chart even if they have one while some people keep tossing their chalk or marker in the air while delivering their lecture. Also, some keep pointing the laser beam on the face of the audience just randomly. All these come under negative body language. If you have a lectern, don’t try to hide behind it all the time. Come out of it occasionally as it sometimes looks like a barrier between the audience and the speaker. If you have some props, you must know how to use the props in public speaking effectively and efficiently.
5. Creating physical barriers
There are many barriers that are created by the speaker consciously or unconsciously. One of the most common barriers is standing with crossed arms. A speaker must make conscious efforts to avoid it. Other barriers that are commonly seen are placing hands in front of the crotch, making a crunch with fingers, continuously rubbing the hands in such a way as if you are washing them, and many more. If you are too conscious, you can simply place your hands by your side or make simple movements as and when required to support what you are saying. You must also try avoiding repetitive or weak gestures.
Just as you practice your speech, you should practice your body language as it is equally important. Be stress-free and loosen up yourself so that your body language comes out naturally and makes you more comfortable and confident. Your audience would enjoy listening to you this way.