Your body language is one of the factors that will determine the success or failure of your speech. Aside from the actual speech, the audience will notice how your body moves as this is used to emphasize an idea.
Your facial expressions, your hand movements and even the movements of your feet could be used on your speech so that you can effectively communicate to your audience.
Without any movement, your speech will be dull as you don’t offer any additional information to your audience. Standing in front of the pulpit or in front of the microphone without any hand gesture will most likely bore the audience.
Importance of Eye Contact
Everything in your body can be used to improve your public speaking, including your eyes. Even though the effects of eye contact are only applicable to the nearest audience, your eyes could be an efficient tool in small business conferences or in simple business presentations.
Eye contact during your speech simply means you are confident of the facts you are stating and you wanted the message to be personal. Look at your audience straight in the eye. For better impact, focus on a person for a few seconds before transferring to the next spectator.
Your facial expression is another important aspect during your speech. Your emotions during your speech can be easily expressed through your facial expression. Telling the audience that you’re disappointed with the current economy without facial expression may seem like a hollow statement.
Facial expression is sincerity. Telling the people a sad statement without the corresponding facial expression doesn’t really get the message across. This might be challenging for some speakers at first because emotions have to come naturally. But it is important to provide the right facial expression. One trick you could do is to practice your facial expression in front of a mirror. You can slowly develop your facial expression until you are satisfied with what you see.
Gestures (Arms and Hands)
Your arms and hands are the most visible part of your body during your speech. That means that these body parts are also your most important tool to convey emotions. Your hands can point, stomp with fists and other hand movements in order to tell your audience your true emotions. This is very useful when talking to a large crowd and you can’t be easily seen from a distance.
But control should be exercised when using your arms and hands. You don’t have to wave your hand in every sentence. Remember that your gestures should only be used to emphasize a point so using too many hand-gestures will remove its importance.
Your Feet and Walking
The role of your feet is basically to support you while speaking. Your audience will most likely be sitting while you would be up on a stage standing during the whole speech. This position could easily strain your feet if you fail to balance the pressure of your body. Stand with feet firmly on the ground with your feet slightly apart of each other. A good distance is to emulate the distance of your shoulders. Spreading them too wide or too close to each other will never balance your body weight.
Another method to ease the strain on your feet is to walk around the stage. Aside from helping you prevent any strain in your feet, this is also a great way to get closer to your audience. If you are in a large stage, get out of your pulpit and walk from one end to another so that you can get closer to as much audience as possible.
Too much of a good thing can go bad and that includes your body language during your public speech. Your body language could easily convey your emotions and let the audience know that the information you are talking about is important. But that doesn’t mean that you have to display emotions or frantically move your body in every point you are making. Too much movement will only distract your audience from your speech.
Control your emotions by using your hand gestures and other movements on certain parts of your speech. This will help boost some important points without creating too much distraction.