During this time of year, many professionals have an array of opportunities to speak in public at networking events, conferences, and local shows and events. Any time you have the opportunity to share your expertise and connect meaningfully with potential clients (and build your tribe), you should totally take advantage of it. It is also a good idea to make those opportunities happen where they don’t even exist by letting others know you are available to speak and/or do Q&A sessions. Even a 10 minute speech can go a long way in establishing you as the expert. Always tweak your topic to appeal as much as you can to the audience you are speaking to.
I’d like to share with you some quick tips for using effective body language at your events and in your speeches since it’s not only what you say with your voice that counts for a memorable presentation.
By the way, only 7% of what we actually say really matters significantly. What our movements and body language reveal says more to our audiences than many of the words we share. Good body language will help audience members to have confidence in what you are saying.
Here’s a simple breakdown on body language. According to psychologist and body language expert Albert Mehrabian, the total impact of a message can be broken down this way:
7% verbal (words)
38 % vocal (volume, pitch, rhythm, etc.)
55 % body movements (mostly facial expressions)
Now let’s take a look now at my 8 Super Helpful Body Language Tips for Your Next Presentation. These tips should help you significantly in your very next speaking engagement, regardless of how experienced you are. They will also serve you well in your day-to-day business life:
1. Dress well. Elegantly casual is always nice, but be yourself in terms of style. Wear the best you can afford with clothing that fits you well and totally communicates and supports your own personal style, NOT someone else’s.
2. Make eye contact with individual audience members. It may be easiest to focus on people you had a chance to meet before the presentation, but choose several people to glance out at during your speech. Make sincere eye contact for a few seconds, then move on to someone else- don’t lock eyes on just one person.
3. Hold good posture. This will ensure you are viewed as a professional, and will also help you to feel more in control. Stand up straight and tall, but relax your shoulders a bit. Own your right to share and be the expert during this time. After all, you have useful information that will certainly help others, and they will likely be very happy you are willing to share it with them.
4. Smile when you think of it, and be sincere with your smile. Even an imperfect smile can light up a room! Research indicates that people who smile often are more likely to be well-liked and received by others.
5. Be natural with body and hand gestures, and don’t overdo it. Wait until you are somewhat experienced at speaking before using them to strategically emphasize points, otherwise it seems unnatural.
6. Keep hand gestures somewhat close to the body and use the hands mainly to precisely and neatly emphasize very specific points and important key concepts you want to emphasize to your listeners.
7. Periodically, grasp your fingers together and hold them in a triangle by allowing your thumbs to touch one another at the tips and your pointer fingers to touch each other at the tips. This helps you to relax while feeling more in control, and it helps you to come across as confident, secure, and sure. Look out at the audience as you do this (rather than looking at your hands).
8. When wrapping up your talk, use the “Hand Sphere” just before the close: Picture yourself holding a small globe or a ball in front of you and a few inches away from your body at about navel height. You are cupping the imaginary ball with both hands, in other words, making your hands into a circle or sphere. Make your point using this gesture while giving your wrap-up statement. EXAMPLE: “All of these points can be wrapped up in one word-Connect”
Put these simple body language tips to use during your next presentation, and see how it makes a huge difference for your professional life.
Copyright Margo DeGange, M.Ed. All Rights Reserved.
Margo DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business & Lifestyle Designer and Coach who will help YOU, the small business owner, get unstuck, make business fun & exciting, and make more money while fully enjoying the process. Margo will help you get real, get focused, and get out there in a BIG way!
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