7 Dos and Don’ts of Body Language to Enhance Public Speaking

Did you know: 60–65 percent of all human communication is nonverbal? Even when a person is standing still, a person’s body is telling a story.

Yes, your body can strongly put across your message than the words. And in some cases, your body language and words just don’t match.

Then what happens?

You contradict yourself, put yourself in a bad light and make it worse for your audience to comprehend you.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Escape from the bad body language habits to enhance your message.

Here we are going to tell you 7 don’ts and 7 dos while you are on the stage delivering a presentation or speech to make sure your body language is as good as your content.

Don’t Ever:

1) Fold hands/arms: It indicates that you are unenthusiastic about the speech or the presentation. You are not open to others and their ideas. Folding arms could imply that you may have gone into your shell and you are uncomfortable in the presence of others.

2) Look down or off into space: You are on the stage with purpose. You are not there to talk to the ceiling or to the floor. If you look down or off into the space, it shows that you are not interested in the audience, or in the whole idea of being there.

3) Jiggle legs: Reason why people shake their legs is restlessness. Either you are unprepared or you just got bored of the situation. Either ways, you jiggle your legs. Better go prepared and add some humor to your presentation so that you don’t let yourself and your audience get bored.

4) Fidget with objects: Clicking pens, playing with paper clips may show you as impatient, bored, nervous, and restless. Not just this, audience will end up seeing you fidgeting and will not pay attention to what is being said.

5) Turn your back to the audience: When you do it, you bore them. As a result, you lose them. You portray as if you don’t care about them.

6) Roll eyes: This is a way of telling your audience that you don’t respect them. Or that maybe you are lying. Of course, we are not saying that you are a liar. But you might come across as one if you do so.

7) Hold objects in front of your body: You are separating yourself from others. You immediately create a bridge between you and your audience when you cover your body. Your entire body is visible to the audience when you are standing. They can communicate well with a standing person. In case, you have to sit, make sure you don’t cover your body with unnecessary stuff such as files or books in your hands. Just sit straight and talk.

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Always Do:

1) Make eye contact: Always make an eye contact with your audience. Eye contact represents that you are interested in the conversation. It shows that you are speaking information, showing attention and interest. When you look your audience in the eye, they will in turn pay more attention to you and to what you are saying because they will feel engaged and a part of your conversation.

2) Open arms: Keep your arms open. Open arms display that you are confident about your content. You have a confidence in your message. Also, you are open to new ideas. You are not a threat to your audience. You would like to indulge in the conversation with your audience.

3) Mobility: A little movement is necessary during the presentation. Do not just standstill at one place. Use the stage while speaking to keep the environment active and positive. Walk towards the audience to encourage them to participate in the conversation.

4) Face expressions: Face expressions are an integral part of any speech. Face expressions alone can make your audience understand the meaning of the message. Let your emotions come out while saying each word. It shows that you mean them. Your audience will immediately connect with you.

5) Power Posing: Make your speech more effective by adopting power posing. This is not something you have to do whilst the speech is on. Try power posing before the speech for effective results. According to the social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, power posing can make us feel more powerful, strong and secured about ourselves. Simple postures such as “hands on our hips and arms in V” can boost our confidence level.

6) Open palms or be hands on: Talk with the palms open. It is a sign of honesty. Closed palms indicate that you are hiding something and come across as a threat to your audience. Avoid keeping hands in your pockets or by the side. Rather use hands gestures to emphasize your words.

7) Smile: There is nothing better than smiling. It shows that a person is credible, confident, and trustworthy. It exudes positivity and charm about the person who is delivering a speech.

Adopt these body language tips to enhance your public speaking.

Now you are aware of what you should avoid doing on the stage and what you should always do to make your stage presence a hit.

And always remember to smile.

Good luck.

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