What impact does your body language have on your presentation? Does it detract from the message of your presentation or does it add to it?
Here are four powerful body language tips to help you shine during your next presentation.
Tip #1: Eliminate distracting mannerisms
- Rock, sway or pace?
- Grip or lean on the lectern or speaker's stand?
- Tap your fingers
- Bite or lick your lips?
- Jingle pocket change?
- Play with your hair or adjust your clothing?
- Play with your watch, ring or other jewellery?
- Put your hands in your pockets?
Most of these mannerisms give the impression of nervousness and are often done unconsciously.
By becoming aware of any distracting mannerisms you can consciously self-monitor your gestures and work on eliminating those that detract from your presentation.
When your actions are in unison with your words then you will strengthen the impact of your speech.
Tip #2: Be natural, spontaneous and conversational
The single most important rule for making your body speak effectively is to be yourself. Strive to be as genuine and natural during your presentation as you would when speaking with friends or family.
Tip #3: Let your body mirror your feelings
If you're passionate about your subject then your physical movements will come from within and be appropriate to what you're saying.
By involving yourself in your message you'll be natural and spontaneous without having to consciously think about it.
Tip #4: Build self confidence through preparation
Nothing influences a speaker's mental attitude more than the knowledge that he/she is thoroughly prepared.
When you're well-prepared you can focus on directing your behaviour outward toward your audience instead of inward toward your own anxieties.
Practise and rehearse your material until it becomes part of you. Don't try to memorise your speech. Instead know your material so well that you need only memorise the flow of ideas.
Use these four body language tips to add to your message not detract from it.