by Sandra Schrift
Your body language, nonverbal cues, tells a lot about how you perform at a job, career and on stage as a public speaker. Research suggests that nonverbal cues are more important than verbal ones. I came across one study that spoke about “body language comprises 55% of the force of any response, whereas the verbal content only provides 7%, and ‘paralanguage,’ or the intonation, pauses and sighs given when answering or speaking, represents 38% of the emphasis.
Our schools put more emphasis on the spoken word. I suggest you learn to use a few simple tips to accentuate your body language as a public speaker or even interview for a job.
- Always lean forward. You will appear to be an interested listener. Leaning back projects lack of confidence.
- Never look down. Maintain eye control at all times. This creates openness and honesty. As a speaker, face your audience left of center, right of center and center.
- Have a relaxed, open posture with your arms in a comfortable position. Don’t fold your arms – this makes you appear hostile.
- Make sure your facial expressions match your message. If you are speaking about something very sad, don’t smile! However, do smile when you are talking about something upbeat and positive.
- If you want to appear confident and expressive, strive for a posture that is free and natural to your speaking style.
- You can practice your stance by standing with your feet less than shoulder width apart. Stand tall, not slouched.
- AND never put your hands in your pockets. Men often do this and even jingle their change. This is a No, No.
- Want to practice your body language? Use a mirror and better yet, get a friend to take video footage of your talk.
- Need some help? Get a speaker coach . . . like me! Email me at [email protected]
- Finally, don’t overdue your hand gestures. I have seen some speakers who constantly flail their hands around – this is distracting and annoying. If you have a tendency to do this, use a hand-held microphone to keep your hands busy.
© 2007 Sandra Schrift – www.schrift.com
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Sandra Schrift 13 year speaker bureau owner and now career coach to emerging and veteran public speakers who want to “grow” a profitable speaking business. I also work with business professionals and organizations who want to master their presentations.
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In business since 1991, Terry Green is the founder/CEO/President of BizEase Support Solutions, an American-based, online marketing support company comprised of a team of talented professionals from around North America. BizEase excels at providing speakers and business coaches worldwide with seamless online marketing solutions, from setting up shopping carts and editing video, to writing blog posts and managing Social Media and PR campaigns. BizEase clients (who span five continents) take great joy in allowing the BizEase team to take care of the details so they can get back to doing what they do best! Click here to get our weekly tips ezine delivered to your inbox every Friday, with tips on plugins, apps, and tools to make you more productive today!