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What Language Is Your Body Speaking Today?

by Dr. Jim Anderson

posted in Writing and Speaking

Syndicate This Article
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Did you know that every time you take a stage in order to deliver a speech, there are really two speakers standing up there? Yes, of course, you are one of them. You understand the importance of public speaking and have a speech that you've prepared, practiced, and are just about ready to share with your audience. However, it turns out that your body has its own speech that it is just about ready to deliver to your audience also. Where things can get interesting is when your body's speech is different from the one that you were planning on giving.
What Is Your Face Saying?
Your #1 communication tool with your audience is your face. Your face may even be more important than the words that you are saying. This is because we've all been trained to watch the face of the person who is talking to us. Millions of years of evolution have taught us to pick up on even the smallest facial signs in order to discover what the speaker is really thinking.
You can enlist your face to help you deliver your next speech better. This means raising your eyebrows dramatically in order to communicate surprise. Smiling to show your audience that you are enthusiastic about a given point. Finally, you can frown when you are trying to communicate disappointment. Your face will allow you to reinforce the overall emotional tone that you want to set for your speech.
Do You Know How To Use Gestures?
As speakers, we actually have very few tools available to us when we are giving a speech. A few PowerPoint slides and that's pretty much it for what most of us feel that we have to work with. However, it turns out that you do have one very powerful tool at your disposal: gestures. The trick is knowing how to best use this tool.
The most important thing to understand about using gestures with a speech is that they have to match what you are saying. Making a gesture that has nothing to do with what you are saying at the time will only end up confusing your audience. One of the most important things that I tell my students about gestures is that you need to make them big and you need to make them up high so that even the people sitting in the back of the room can see what you are doing.
Make Your Point With Movement
When speakers are running through how best to make their points stick with their audience, they often forget about one of their largest tools: their body. We've been told for so long what not to do with our body that it's very easy to forget what we should be doing with it. No, you should not fidget or just stand in one spot for the entire speech. However, if not this, then what should we be doing?
Our bodies provide us with a great way to communicate change to our audience. During the course of your speech you should plan on moving around the stage. However, you need to be prepared to do this with a purpose. When you are switching topics you should move to a new position on the stage. Additionally, if you ask your audience a question during a speech, you should move towards them while you are asking the speech in order clearly communicate that you are asking them something.
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
Every time that we give a speech we have one goal in mind: we want to share the benefits of public speaking with our audience and we want to change their world. This means that we need to take the time to very carefully control the message that we are sending to our audience. What we can forget is that our bodies are using their own body language to also send their own message to our audience and we need to make sure that it is the same message that we are trying to send.
One of the most important components of the body language that our audience will be reading on us is our face. We need to take the time to control when we frown and how we use our eyebrows. Gestures can go a long way in helping us to make our point during our speech. We need to remember to use them when they are appropriate. Finally, we can use our entire body to help make our point. We need to remember to move when we want our audience to understand that a change is happening in our speech.
We can never stop our body from telling a story to our audience. However, what we can do is to understand what that story is. Once we know this, we can then take steps in order to ensure that our body language story is the same one that we'll be telling with our words. Take the time to make sure that your body language story is in harmony with your spoken words!
About the Author: Dr. Jim Anderson
"America's #1 Unforgettable Business Communication Skills Coach"
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Do you give speeches today, but want to learn how be more effective? Dr. Jim Anderson believes that great business skills are no substitute for poor presentation skills. Dr. Anderson will share with you the knowledge that he has gained while working to improve the speaking ability of both individuals and teams of speakers for over 20 years. Learn the secrets of effective speakers and really connect with your audience during your next speech.
If you want to follow Dr. Anderson on Twitter, he can be found at:
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