Work that body!

Posted on Posted in Presentations, Public Speaking

Body language can be a powerful tool which contributes to the overall efficacy of your presentation. Use it to enhance your public speaking and have the desired impact on your audience.

Remember that stance communicates. Your weight should be evenly balanced and you should lean slightly forward, suggesting that you are engaged with the audience. Leaning to one side can says you are not interested. Your feet should point straight ahead and be in line with your shoulders. Anchoring is fundamental. Open your chest and arms and keep your back straight. You will breathe better and feel more relaxed.

Smiling is the most powerful way to make the audience feel comfortable and positive towards you. The other elements of facial expression are equally as important as they convey your feelings, ranging from enthusiasm for the subject to your attitude towards the audience. Unfortunately, when nervous and stressed, many people’s facial expression becomes rigid and inexpressive. Don’t forget to make eye contact with the audience, too.

Gesture with your arms and hands in a calm, natural way that is in alignment with your message. Vary your gestures, involving head, arms and hands. This will keep your audience’s attention. Paint pictures. Adapt your gestures to the size of the room and audience. Gesture from the shoulder, rather than the wrist or elbow, in order to project across the room. When not gesturing, keep your hands calmly at your sides. These moments of stillness between gestures also have the effect of amplifying them. 

Communication is a transfer of energy. Ask yourself, what energy do you wish to transfer to your audience via your body language?