Public Speaking Basics: Learning the Importance of Body language

In our previous blog, we had discussed some essential aspects of public speaking while sharing a few vital tips to help you excel in the art of speaking.

To help you master this art further, today we are going to discuss a key element of public speaking – Body Language.

When you are up and front with your audience, along with verbal communication, you are scrutinized for your body language too. Hence, it is highly crucial to ace body language basics so that your verbal and non-verbal communication stands flawless.

What is body language?

Experts say that body language constitutes more than 50% of your entire communication. Your hand gestures, facial expressions, body movements, all convey a message. Using your body language, the audience can easily figure out your level of:

  • Confidence
  • Comfort
  • Command on the topic

A simple gesture as hand movement has the capacity to either make or break your show on stage. It is like speaking to your audience without using any words. And this silent communication is what you should nail perfectly to make a strong impression as a public speaker.

Vital Elements of Confident Body Language

You can make a huge difference in how your audiences perceive you by honing your body language. To help you with this, we’ve put together some of the vital elements that make for confident body language.

Posture: To begin with, your body posture must be apt. Always stand straight. Your back and back should be completely relaxed. Your feet shoulder should be width apart. Avoid crossing your arms or putting them in your pocket. It’s better to keep the hands-on side so that you can make hand gestures with ease. Always face your audience; that’s how you get to garner their attention.

Breathing: Though the audience can’t see you breathing but with calm and relaxed breathing, you can manage to compose your mind and body. Relaxed breaths also help you keep control over the pace and voice modulation. Before a speech, do some breathing exercises so that you get to stay relaxed.

Eye-contact: This allows you to build a connection with your audience. When you maintain eye contact with the audience, they feel more involved, connected, and valued. Don’t fix your gaze on one person. Keep moving and try to look at the maximum number of people in the crowd for at least 5 seconds. And while you take questions from the audience, eye contact should be maintained along with friendly gestures. This shows your sincerity and integrity.

Hand Gestures: When doing hand gestures, the most important thing to take care of is not overdoing it. Your hands must move smoothly and subtly. Make hand gestures only when you really feel the need as repeating them too often will only be a turn-off. Also, make sure that you don’t repeat the same gestures. Keep changing them and make use of your hands, arms, and head.

Movement: When you are delivering a speech, the stage is all yours and you own it completely. To show your command over the topic and demonstrate confidence, body movements play a vital role. Move around the stage at a timed pace so that your audience doesn’t get distracted. And when walking to another side of the stage, never turn your back to the audience as it is considered to be discourteous.

Facial Expressions: Your face is the mirror of your thoughts. It expresses your emotions out and loud. And in public speaking, the right expressions can help you win over the crowd. Work on your facial expressions. They should appear genuine, empathetic, and believable. Also, learn to draw the line between expressing and over-expressing.

As is with any other skill, to master the art of body language, consistent practice is what you need. So, next time you work on your speech, pay equal attention to your body language and work on it focusing on the elements mentioned above.

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Tags: Public Speaking | Body language | Improve Body Language | Body Language Tips | Facial Expressions | Hand Gestures | Body Movement | Eye Contact