A United States audience translates good, intermittent eye contact as confident and respectful. Making eye contact requires courage. Speakers should practice not only making eye contact, but also sharing it with as many members of an audience as possible.
Appropriate facial expressions contribute to an effective speech. A speaker’s face supports the meaning of the speech. Usually, people watch the speaker’s face more than anything else during her/his presentation. The face tells all—beliefs and emotions.
All people share the following basic emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. How would these be conveyed in facial expressions?
Relax and open your body to face your audience. A speaker’s posture should be upright and demonstrate assertiveness. This tells the audience that there is no hidden agenda or deception. This posture is one of conviction and confidence.
Feet should be shoulder-width apart. Arms should be at your side (except for gesturing). Speakers should avoid a forward-sloping stance (too domineering) and a bent stance (without conviction).
Sitting or standing depends on formality of presentation and group size. If you are seated, sit up straight. It tells the audience that you are in control of yourself.
Formal speeches require the speaker to stand center-stage or at a podium.
Movement and gestures affect how the audience perceives a speaker. The body language of movement helps to maintain speaker enthusiasm and audience interest.
Allow your relaxed, uncrossed arms to hang naturally and use them for emphasis. Use gestures that are appropriate to what the message is. Do not repeat gestures or wring hands.
Self-touching gestures (fixing hair, rubbing hands) indicate that you’re nervous.
Use lively but not distracting movement.
How To Read Body Language (Wiki-How)
Subscribe to the IC weekly newsletter for tips and advice on your communication skills!
Effective communication is empowering. Get started on your path to being more clear, brief, and effective.Upcoming Classes