Project yourself confidently! Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts to WOW your audience non-verbally! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
“You project a confident image through good body posture.”
– Cindy Ann Peterson, Couture Designer and Professional Image Director
According to an article published by Harvard Health Publishing, good posture is an important part of balance. By standing or sitting properly, you distribute your weight evenly over your feet or hips and maintain correct form while doing different things.
Do you know that having a good stance also has positive psychological impacts, especially in public speaking?
As a speaker, it’s important that you carry yourself well throughout your speech or presentation because…
… it helps you project a confident image on stage, just as what Peterson said!
Aside from that, a good public speaking posture helps you to:
- Breathe easily.
- Project your voice powerfully.
- Let your audience know you have something worth listening to.
Your stance also plays a role in your listeners’ first impression about you. For example:
Good, straight posture indicates leadership and confidence…
… leaning slightly forward shows your audience that you care…
… slouching shows disinterest on your part…
… standing with your hands in your pockets makes your audience think you’re too casual…
… and hunched shoulders indicate lack of confidence and self-esteem.
Now, you might be wondering, “There are different kinds of postures. How do I know which one I should use in public speaking?”
One way to answer that question is by remembering that your audience responds to enthusiasm. So, as a speaker, you have to stand up straight, walk confidently (if you prefer doing so while delivering your speech or presentation or if there’s no lectern on stage), and tell an important message with clarity.
This doesn’t mean you have to stand ramrod straight; part of exuding confidence is also acting and moving naturally and at ease in front of your listeners.
How can you maintain a proper public speaking posture?
Allow us to share with you a few DOs and DON’Ts:
- Standing or sitting up straight but in a relaxed manner.
- Keeping your shoulders back, chest out, and stomach in.
- Holding your head high and your chin slightly up.
- Walking confidently while maintaining eye contact with your audience.
- Using appropriate gestures and facial expressions.
- Fidgeting or rubbing your fingers or nails together.
- Clasping your hands behind your back.
- Rocking from your heels to toes.
- Leaning too much on a lectern or chair (if you’re delivering a talk while sitting down).
- Looking down instead of towards your audience.
- Putting your hands in your pockets.
Here’s the thing: Thinking about how you should stand, sit, or move while also thinking about the next things to say as you are in front of your listeners might feel like patting your head while rubbing your chest at the same time… it’s a lot of brainpower you never knew you needed.
If you ever feel like the guidelines above are too much to handle and are getting in the way of an effective delivery of your speech or presentation, don’t fret. Just keep in mind that good posture is natural and relaxed, not stiff and tense.
… and just like any other public speaking element, this aspect can be improved with practice!
Rehearse your talk in front of a mirror, ask a trusted friend or colleague to give feedback about this non-verbal part of your talk, or record your rehearsal then watch the video afterwards to see what you need to improve.
These methods will help you project yourself properly and effectively on the actual day of your presentation.
– – –
It’s good to practice proper posture―and adopt it even before you present on stage. This will help you acquire the confidence you need as a speaker and enable you to deliver your message with impact.
Once you feel comfortable and confident, your audience will start to sense that from you, too. When that happens, they will be impressed and more interested to listen to what you have to say. So…
Stand tall, walk confidently on stage, and WOW your listeners through a powerful verbal (and non-verbal) presentation!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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