You might be the nervous type, or you might feel completely comfortable. But everyone should know that to be an effective public speaker, body language matters. After all, the visual given to the audience is you. The business world is full of lists of things that you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to public speaking; the essential focal point is to replicate the natural and authentic state you would have during a one-on-one conversation.
The most effective public speakers use authority, energy and audience awareness to influence their crowd, the three main themes which influence these seven helpful tips:
- Remember facial expressions. Not only do they augment the meaning of your words, they help the audience feel comfortable. Start with a simple smile.
- Impact of eye contact. Don’t worry about the amount of eye contact, think about its effect. People will naturally pay attention and become engaged when they feel connected.
- Bring your energy. Is it as simple as not being boring? Get invested in your topic and show the audience you actually care about whatever it is you’re talking about.
- Be aware of gestures. Vary your gestures, keep them small, and don’t be repetitive. Your gestures should be a natural compliment to your voice to help keep your audience’s attention.
- Use space and movement. Occupy the space you have and project power by standing and moving. Showing you are comfortable projects confidence. Use open gestures and movement to accompany your words.
- Simple as breathing. Don’t forget to breathe, which keeps you relaxed. Allow yourself to pause and breathe slowly for effect or when answering questions. Stay open and keep your back straight.
- Think of your voice as an instrument. The five traits of a powerful voice are breathing, articulation, downward inflection, pauses and projection. Think about meaning and intention while using your voice.