This giving a speech thing is hard to do! Think of all of the various things that you need to do at the same time: remember the words that you want to say, keep eye contact with your audience, keep your hands at your sides, maximize your audience’s listening skills, etc. Oh yeah, there’s one more thing – you need to remember to dance…
Why Moving Your Body While Speaking Is So Important
When it comes to moving your body, today’s speakers get a lot of mixed messages from the so-called experts. On one hand, since new speakers tend to be nervous and move around way too much, they are often told to find a spot and to then plant their feet there and not to move.
This is a good way to solve the problem. However, it just creates another problem: as a speaker you suddenly become quite boring. That’s right I said the “B” word – boring. You need to remember that in addition to the words that you are saying, your body has a language of its own and it’s trying to tell its own story – using body language. By not moving, you are muzzling this conversation with your audience.
Additionally, when you are in front of an audience giving a speech, despite the importance of public speaking, you are not one of them. You are removed from them. In order to be a successful speaker you need to find a way to break down the wall that exists between you and your audience. The good news is that you already know how to do this – use your body language.
How To Effectively Move Your Body While Giving A Speech
Knowing that you need to move your body in order to support the words that you are saying is an important first step. The next step is to discover exactly how to go about doing this.
The first thing that you need to do is to get closer to your audience. If you stand away from them for your entire speech, then you will be seen as being remote and distant. Connect with them by stepping in to the audience for at least part of your speech or, if you are on a stage, step down into the audience for a portion of your speech.
Before you start your speech, you are going to want to pick out three different spots where you’ll stand during your speech. The reason for doing this is that it will allow you to customize the content that you deliver from each position.
You’ll use the first position to deliver the bulk of your presentation. Often times during your speech, you’ll make a point and then you’ll explore alternatives. Use your second position as the place that you’ll stand when you are off on these side tangents. Move back into your primary position when you start your mainstream discussion once again.
Finally, your third position will be reserved for those times during your speech that you want to get closer to your audience. Use this position to walk out into your audience and to become closer to them.
What All Of This Means For You
On top of everything else that you need to do as a speaker, forget presentation tips — you also have to learn to use your body in a way that will support the words that you are saying. In other words, you need to learn to dance while you give a speech in order for your audience to get the full benefits of public speaking.
The one thing that you don’t want to do is to just plant your feet and not move. This might have been good advice when you were just starting out, but it no longer works. You need to come up with ways to let your body language talk to your audience.
Getting closer to your audience is a great way to do this. Walking out in to the audience allows you to become one with them. Picking three different spots to use while you are delivering your speech is another way to accomplish this.
Body language is a powerful communication tool that speakers can use to truly connect with their audience. You need to take the time before you give your next speech to come up with ways that you can use this tool to make an impact and change lives!
Question For You: Do you think that it is possible to use too much body language when delivering a speech?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in a situation in which I needed to share some information with my audience that was too big, or too strange for them to be able to grasp it. What’s a speaker to do? I knew that if I just told them the fact or statistic that I had, there was no way that they would remember what I had said. I needed a better way – isn’t there some collection of presentation tips that would help in this situation? It turns out that there is a better way – use an analogy.