Any audience decides within seconds if they trust the speaker that is on stage.These seconds are used to look at how the speaker presents him- or herself. The body language of a speaker is decisive. If they don’t trust him or her, it won’t matter what the speaker says, they won’t be able to persuade.

In a lot of cases, what you say makes less of an impact than how you act. Your movement, gestures and voice send out a message as well!

You can read more about body language in these articles:

Where to sit in a panel discussion

The power of a smile in presentations

The why of the TED Circle

Why you should be careful rehearsing in front of a mirror

What is body language?

Body language is part of the non-verbal communication. Body language is the combination of movements, gestures and postures. This includes the way a speaker talks, moves and looks on stage. Body language is part of the message a speaker wants to give.

Many people only think body language is only about the way you position yourself on stage. This is a big part of the right body language, but there is much more. Body language shows your confidence. The right attitude on stage gives you an air of authority, which supports your story.

Why is body language important?

You can say that having the wrong body language makes that your talk almost can’t be a success. You need a lot of talent on other elements to make up for bad body language.

Some examples of bad body language include: turning your back to the audience, moving around too much or hiding behind a desk. Gesturing also can have a bad influence on your talk. Being too aggressive in your gestures, drumming your fingers or even biting your nails are also examples of bad body language.

But even when you aren’t doing a bad job, improving your body language can have a big effect. Especially on the way, the audience receives your talk. It can make a difference between a nice talk and actually persuading people.

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What to pay attention to?

When you are looking at your body language, some things to pay attention to are:

Where to look?

Are you looking towards your audience? Or are you one of those speakers who have a tendency to look behind you at the screen? Are you giving your entire audience the attention and not just a happy few?

Happy vs sad

What message are you getting across with your body language? Are you showing happiness? Or are you sad? This reflects on your audience!

Energy

How much energy are you putting into your talk? Too little energy will make your audience fall asleep. Then again, too much will make them pay less attention to your message!

Gestures

What gestures are you making? Are you using your hands and not hiding them in your pockets? Are you pointing, being expressive?

Are you smiling?

Your facial expressions are extremely important. The way you look says a lot about how you feel and about your message. A smile is very important (learn here why). At the same time, you don’t want to be smiling through a very serious story. Your facial expressions should be in line with the story.

Read more about body language in these articles:

Training sessions and body language

At all of our sessions, we pay attention to body language. We look at each individual speaker. We determine their strengths and weaknesses. Then we adjust the body language to be persuasive and still reflect their personality. We show examples of speakers who do a good or a bad job. At corporate sessions we also let all the colleagues help each other.

Eager to learn more? Get in touch!

 

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