Do you properly convey your thoughts with non-verbal communication?
The way we move and carry ourselves during a public speaking opportunity is a direct giveaway to how we’re feeling at that moment.
We’ve all seen or even experienced things like fidgeting, hunched posture, and crossed arms when we, or someone we know, are delivering. There are many different reasons this could happen – the topic might be unfamiliar, the presenter’s headspace and emotional state are uncertain, or it could just be a habit someone has picked up over the years.
However, proper Body Language and non-verbal cues not only ensure that our message is accurately conveyed but can convince the audience into thinking we are confident even if we’re experiencing feelings of nervousness and anxiety. Think of it as a sleight of hand magic trick – it’s undetected by your audience. This makes it one of the key aspects of Public Speaking.
Just like Amy Cuddy discussed in her Ted Talk, “Your body language may shape who you are.”
Today, we’re sharing body language and other non-verbal tips and tricks to keep in mind and practice for the next time you have a public speaking opportunity.
We use gestures in our everyday life without even noticing! We naturally use things like hand and arm movements to better get our point across. It could be as simple as pointing to something behind the counter at a convenience store or shrugging your shoulders when you’re unsure of the answer to a question.
Any movements made while speaking should properly reflect the words that are coming out of our mouths. When you’re speaking, make sure every movement is done with the purpose of enhancing the meaning of your speech.
Not implementing intent with your body language can cause us to fall back into old habits of unintentional movements like:
- Fidgeting with clothing or notes
- Touching our hair
- Constantly shifting our weight or moving around
- Moving our arms or hands in random motions
In our 4-Part Workshops, we teach our members how to speak through their body by standing tall, having intent in their actions, and overall ensuring their words connect with their movements.
Have you ever been in a situation where your facial expressions have gotten you in trouble for conveying a different message than you intended? That’s probably because we’re able to make over 5000 facial expressions that can oftentimes be a direct line to how we’re feeling.
We’re usually able to tell if someone we’re speaking to is happy, sad, angry, frustrated – the list goes on. This means facial expressions play a huge role in delivering our message when we speak. This is a nonverbal cue that can help emphasize our point but also how we feel/our opinion on what we’re saying.
Just like gestures, it’s important that our facial expressions during public speaking moments are all performed with intent.
Speaking is all about making a connection with an audience. In order to garner a response or capture people’s attention, we have to work to connect with them. Eye contact is a way of executing this.
They don’t say “the eyes are the window to the soul” for no reason. Your eyes, like your face, convey emotion, meaning it’s important to capture the audience by making direct eye contact. Not only will this tell someone how we’re feeling, but holding eye contact for a few seconds (5-6) with someone forms a connection and heightens interest.
Sometimes when we’re nervous our eye contact can be skittish and random. Remember, everything with intent!
What aspect of non-verbal Public Speaking do you struggle with?