I have often been asked about Body Language (B.L.) and it’s importance or relevance to a speech. From my point of view, B.L. is the Linguistic Queen of Expression.
Because when you incorporate your body movements into your speech you inject zest into the words. B.L. can really bring a speech alive; it can put zip into your words, rock n roll into your message and drama into your presentation.
When you let your body do the talking, it means using your whole body: posture, gestures, facial expressions, hands, (hands out of pockets boys!) steps and strides…not all at once and not all at the same time, we are not out to catch attention but to emphasize our message.
Each one of us possess unique features and with them come our unique way of showing them off. Get in front of a mirror, ask your best friend, find out what stands out when you speak. Are you expressive with your eyebrows? Perhaps your hands or may be it is a shoulder movement. Really find out what makes you move? What are your best movements? Be honest and then proud of what you have. You are unique!
Just remember, your audience is looking at your body anyway…aren’t they? So, you might as well show them how skilled you are at transmitting your message through it.
Makes sense… Body language gives…body to your speech.
So please, let your body do the talking.
Now, I can hear some of you whisper, are you sure? Won’t some people think you are restless, nervous or just too excited? And really, does it enhance a speech, a proposal or a presentation?
Of course, there are no rules…but balance is key.
And yes, too much action or activity can distract, disturb and even damage a speech. So how do you know what is the right amount of B.L.?
Content gives the vital clues.
In a humorous presentation B.L. can enhance, add drama and excitement. If your words emit sadness, perhaps stillness can be your most powerful tool.
You have to discover your language.
So here are my 5 quick Tips for B.L.
- Rehearse your speech so you do not need notes. Put the words in your head so they flow easily and confidently, then you can free up your body.
- Know your stage or platform. Learn about the place you will be presenting your speech. How big or small is it?
- Introduce facial expressions and hand gestures.
- Video your speech or presentation, then sit back with your pen and paper and that clever observant eye of yours and see what’s going on.
- Constructively comment on your performance. Share with smart friends.
Please check out the Ted Talk of Amy Cuddy, who gives excellent advice about B.L.
For further advice or to answer any questions or doubts, please sign up for a chat with me…it’s free you know!