Public Speaking Tips
Body Language 1
YOUR BODY SPEAKS
"Who you are speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say."
Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Show Us What You Mean
Let's face it. A speaker who stands stiffly behind a lectern talking to their notes or their PowerPoint presentation is boring!
No matter how good the speech, when the speaker is motionless, expressionless and dull their audience will tune out in 3 to 4 minutes.
Just recently my daughter graduated from High School and I listened to the Principal give a 20 minute speech. It was eloquent, full of beautiful language and carefully constructed. He had a pleasant voice as he shared the stories and experiences of the year.
But later I asked my daughter, her friends and their parents if they remembered a word of his speech? .... NO! Not A Word! Not a ZIP - NOTHING!
Why did they tune out? Because the Principal's wonderfully crafted speech was delivered from behind a wooden lectern, his hands grasping the sides, his head looking down at his notes and his body language and expression was lifeless.
If you have an audience that has given their time and attention to you, you owe to them to make your presentation interesting, informative and memorable.
Move! Be Engaging and Memorable
In a speaking or leadership role it is vital to develop excellent body language techniques. That means using your eyes, your hands, your whole body moving around the stage with purpose, making eye contact and having great posture.
What if our Principal gave a 'little kick' to show how the football team kicked the winning goal; or gave a little twirl to show how the music teacher dances every time the band play jazz; or moved closer to the front of the stage and gave direct eye contact to the parents when he told us how proud he was of the students in this class?
Do you think the audience would have been more interested and able to remember his speech? ... You bet we would! :)
Using body language affects your voice and improves vocal expression. These two skills are tied together.
Making the move to incorporate body language and improve vocal expression in a speech or business presentation can be a challenge. However there is not one speech - even when reporting on facts and figures - that you would not need to apply body language techniques to make your message memorable and interesting.
Your Body Speaks LOUDLY
Have you heard of Mehrabian's 7%-38%-55% Rule?
Albert Mehrabian (born 1939, currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA), has become very well known by his publications on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages - ie. body language.
His findings on inconsistent messages of feelings and attitudes have been quoted throughout human communication seminars worldwide, and have also become known as the 7%-38%-55% Rule.
Professor Albert Mehrabian has been quoted for many years saying that our body language must be congruent with our message because our words convey only 7% of the meaning, our vocal expression 38% and our body language a whopping 55% of what the audience will remember and believe!
According to Dr Albert Mehrabian there are basically three elements in any communication: Words, Vocal Expression and Body Language.
All of which are taught in our Public Speaking Courses.
For now, you might like to gather more information on body language, so please feel free to click on the following links:
More Body Language Techniques:
Art of Communicating ©