There’s an undeniable relationship between fantastic public speaking and body language. Over the centuries, the best orators have managed to charm thousands with their gestures alone. Interestingly, the trick is still as effective as ever.
You might be wondering how a simple “chest-out” or “powerful wave” can wield so much power over a crowd. Well, experts have described body language as the first means of communication between a speaker and the audience. It’s your primary introduction, and in public speaking, the first impression is important.
Fortunately, body language can be mastered. You can learn to take full advantage of gestures that have been used by history’s top speakers to become an excellent orator yourself.
Here are some of the best body language techniques you should learn and how they can make you look more confident.
- Maintain eye contact
Maintaining eye contact is a trick that has remained in the books for ages. For one-on-one conversations, it reveals that you are attentive and honest. However, when it comes to public speaking, the influence of maintaining eye contact with your audience is much more emphasised.
How? Well, looking straight into your audiences’ faces, signifies that you are truthful and comfortable with your conversations. Also, it gives off a strong sense of responsibility that you are not afraid to witness their reactions, be it good or bad. There is hardly a stronger indication of self-confidence, such as this.
- Employ assertive postures
Often, people find themselves slouching or looking face down when presenting to a crowd. In fact, there’s a high probability that you belong to such a group. This is understandable as a high-pressure environment typically characterises public speaking.
However, you need to understand that this act negatively affects your confident appearance and should be corrected. Assertive postures such as a firm chin, upright stance, and strongly planted feet pass on positive vibes to your audience. They disclose that you are sure of yourself and ultimately make you appear more confident.
- Engage your hands
Putting your hands to good use while addressing a crowd has several benefits. First off, it proves that you are not anxious and fidgeting. This is important as the hands are a common location for people to look at to check for a speaker’s firmness. When you put your hands out, you show that you are not frightened or hiding.
Secondly, your hands can be beneficial in adding enthusiasm to your presentation. You are more capable of demonstrating your ideas with hand gestures, and this signifies that you are self-assured. However, you have to be cautious to avoid overuse of your hand movements as that irritates and distracts your audience.
- Stay calm
Over-activity points out anxiety, which could be a total turnoff for your listeners when it comes to public speaking. This is why most expert orators have taken time to learn to slow down the delivery of their presentations. To appear more confident, you have to learn to maintain a calm body language regularly.
Body language is undoubtedly a very vital tool at the hands of every public speaker. It allows you to have a “striking” feeling on your audience without uttering a word. Also, it sets the precedence for a much more attentive and engaging moment with your listeners. Hence, it’s something every public speaker should take advantage of.
It is, however, essential to note that body language isn’t mastered at once. Often, it involves a series of trials and errors. But the sky is the limit with proper practice. After all, the effort is a small price to pay to possess an amazingly confident aura while giving your speeches.