Do you know the importance of body language while public speaking? When you are giving a public speech, your body language can be just as important as your words. Your body language can show you are confident on stage or show the audience you are nervous. In this article, you will find the top 5 tips for body language while public speaking. These five tips help to enhance your stage presence using body language in your next speech. Continue reading to learn the importance of body language while public speaking.
Body language while public speaking
Good body language is important during public speaking. It’s incredibly important for audience engagement, and also how your overall message receiving by the audience. Your audience will lose interest within minutes if you are motionless, expressionless, and dull, no matter how good and powerful your speech is. Your facial and physical expressiveness can take your talks from mundane to memorable.
Smile to connect with your audience and keep the atmosphere positive. Once your audience sees you smile they are very likely to smile back. If you feel you don’t have an expressive face, you can work with a mirror. Look into the mirror and practice speech with expressions. It will help you create a link between what you are trying to express and help to correct mistakes to perform as you mean it. Practice giving your entire talk without sound, letting your face do all the communicating.
What Is The Importance Of Body Language While Public Speaking?
When you are giving a speech your body language can be just as important as the words you speak. Your body language can either show your confidence or convey to the audience that you are nervous and unsure of yourself. Your body language can also help you emphasize the points of your speech and keep your audience interested in what you are saying. Most importantly good body language during a speech helps you connect with your audience.
The way you stand, eye contact, hand gestures, and more can draw your audience in and allow them to feel as if they are having a conversation with you instead of listening to a presentation, you are speaking with them and not at them. Here are the 5 body language tips that will help you to become a better public speaker.
Body language Tips While public speaking
1. Maintain an open stance
- Maintain an open stance so that you appear to be friendly
- A closed posture makes you appear nervous and closed off
- Having your palms open says that you are relaxed
- Stand tall with a good posture
The first step is to open your body. Maintain an open stance so that you appear to be friendly and inviting rather than closed off and unapproachable. When people get nervous in front of an audience they often instinctively close their arms in front of them as a sort of protection. They might fold their arms across their chest or clasp their hands together. This means that you appear nervous and closed off from your audience.
But great speakers open up their bodies to invite their audience. An open stance shows confidence and that you are approachable. It shows that there’s no barrier between you and your audience. In the same regard, open your hands when you are speaking. Show your palms to your audience rather than the back of your hands. Having your palms open says that you are relaxed and invites your audience to join you. On the other hand, showing your audience the back of your hands is more guarded or even confrontational.
Stand tall and have good posture as well with your arms and shoulders relaxed and your head held high. Slouching can signal to the audience that you lack confidence or interest in them or what you share. Good posture on the other hand signals confidence and energy that will ignite your audience. Keep your toes pointed toward the audience as well to show that you’re engaged with them as individuals.
2. Smile and show emotion
- Beginning your speech with a smile will draw your audience in
- Smile to keep the attitude more positive
- Smiles are contagious
- Show other emotions to illustrate your speech
The second body language tip is to smile and show emotion. Beginning your speech with a smile will draw your audience in and encourage them to receive your message with interest. Smile throughout your presentation as well as at appropriate moments to connect with your audience and keep the atmosphere positive. Smiles are contagious; once your audience sees you smile, they are very likely to smile back. This not only creates a positive experience for them but can also calm your nerves and help you to deliver an outstanding speech. Show other emotions as you discuss your topics.
Let your facial expression illustrate the feelings related to your words as you guide your audience through your speech. This shows your audience that you relate to what you are speaking about and instead of delivering a dry speech you captivate your audience and lend validity to your message.
3. Make eye contact
- As you speak, lock eyes with different individuals around the room
- Eye contact allows you to connect
- Remember to look to the sides and back of the room
The third tip wants to share with you is to make eye contact with your audience members. As you speak look around the room and lock eyes with different individuals in different parts of the room. Make your eye contact natural and casual like you’re having a conversation. Eye contact allows you to connect with individuals in your audience so that they feel that they are part of the conversation and become more engaged in what you’re sharing with them.
Remember to connect with the whole room and not just make eye contact with people in the front. Look to the back of the room as well as side to side. This purposeful eye contact creates a receptive space that invites people to stay captivated by what you have to say.
4. Move around
- Use your stage to move around and connect with your audience
- Move naturally and confidently instead of being stiff
- Help your audience members transition between talking points
- Move your body when you are standing in place
The fourth body language tip is to move around. Use your stage to walk around and connect with your audience. Move naturally and confidently instead of stiffly or predictably. Being in motion will keep your audience intrigued and interested in what is coming next. Help your audience members transition from one talking point to the next by moving from point A to B, each time you change topics. This will give momentum and organization to your speech and engage your audience so that they feel a part of the experience.
Along with moving around the stage move your body when you are standing in place as well. Vary your gestures to emphasize your points throughout your speech. For instance, use a mix of broader movements and graceful ones. Signal with your hands and arms or just nod your head. Hand gestures give your words more meaning and capture your audience. A head nod adds affirmation to what you are saying. A head tilt can convey empathy and a shrug of the shoulders can express wonder or humbleness for example.
5. Avoid distractions
- Try not to fidget with your hands.
- Fidgeting comes off as a lack of confidence.
- The audience can be distracting too.
The fifth and final tip for using body language while speaking is to avoid distractions. For one, try not to fidget with your hands. Tapping with your fingers, playing with your rings, hugging your shirt sleeves or jingling keys in your pocket will distract your audience away from what you are talking about. Fidgeting and internal distractions also come off as a lack of confidence or nervousness and you want to stay away from conveying these to your audience. Keep your hands off of your face, as well as scratch your nose or tug at your ears or rub your chin, pushing your hair back. All of these are distractions that may cause your audience to tune out.
Do you know how Rinku Sawhney overcame the fear of public speaking and turned her life into success?
Another type of distraction to avoid is those that come from the audience such as someone whispering, texting on their phone, fiddling with their papers or getting up to go to the bathroom. Audience distractions are not in your control but do your best not to focus on them so that your speech remains fluid and captivating.
References & Credits Brian Tracy. Download Brian Tracy’s FREE 14-Step Goal-Setting Guide
Even if you are a nervous public speaker, there are some steps you can take to feel more comfortable around it and, as a result, get better in your public speaking skills. Working on your body language can make a big difference in how you come across, and feel about speaking publicly. Hope you found the above tips helpful to understand the importance of body language while public speaking.
Which of the 5 tips will you focus on perfecting for your next speech?
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Mathukutty P. V. is the founder of Simply Life Tips. He is a Blogger, Content Writer, Influencer, and YouTuber. He is passionate about learning new skills. He is the Director of PokketCFO.
He lives with the notion of “SIMPLE LIVING, CREATIVE THINKING”. He Believes – “Sharing is caring.” and “Learning never ends.”