If you have a public speech or presentation to give, it is essential for you to firstly get the verbal communication right and then focus on an equally important but often overlooked aspect of communication, i.e., non-verbal communication.
How Good Body Language Can Help You Deliver a Great Speech
Make Eye Contact with the Audience
Many inexperienced public speakers make the mistake of staring at the walls or just reading out some words on a sheet of paper. Actions like these will immediately put off your audience and make them uninterested in receiving what you have to share.
Hence, you need to make actual eye contact and survey the entire hall with your eyes as you are speaking. This signifies that you acknowledge the audience’s presence and that you are having a conversation with them.
Use the Stage
You need to walk around the stage and not remain stationary in one place. As you walk around at a casual pace, your audience will receive you in the same way. Try not to move your hands or head too much. It is also important to make good use of the podium and screen on the stage.
Having a good posture and gait shows off a level of assertiveness, authority and competency over the subject matter. Good posture also allows your brain to be more alert to the moment. When you show the audience that you are in control, it makes them want to take you more seriously.
Your Facial Expressions
The audience is likely to lose interest in a speaker who appears very visibly nervous or uninterested in their subject matter. Therefore, whatever words you use must be accompanied by the right emotions. This allows your audience to empathize and connect with what you are sharing.
Remember to Breathe
When novice public speakers go on stage, they either go into a fight or flight or freeze response as it is generally a scary or new experience. Hence, it is important to breathe deep and send a message to the nervous system that it is safe.
When you are well-versed with the material, you are likely to be more confident on stage. The level of confidence in your subject matter can visibly show in your body language. It is also important for you to modulate your voice well.
You don’t want to either strain your voice too much or speak in a low whisper. Try to speak naturally, and remember to pause to take deep breaths as it will allow you to be grounded and speak loud enough for the audience to understand you.
It is essential to take the time out and practice your speech in front of a mirror or a friend. This will allow you more insight into how you tense yourself or hold yourself back from fully being who you are. With good body language, you can capture your audience’s attention to the very end of your speech or presentation.