The 6 Key Ingredients to Body Language
Posted September 14, 2010on:
P – Posture. How we hold our bodies reflects our state of being. Our state will influence how the audience reacts to us. To create a strong, confident and accessible presence stretch with your hands pointed toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 seconds to lengthen your spine. Then stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight equally balanced on each foot. You will now send out a visual image of confidence and authority.
L – Legs. Move with purpose. Bobbers and Bouncers convey an image of uncertainty and look uncomfortable. Random movements distract from the message. Breathe into your abdomen and claim your space. You are speaking to your audience because you are the person best suited to do the job.
A – Arms. Gestures are a physical means of telling your story. They help both you and your audience remember your message. They add interest and variety to what you are saying and support the voice, helping to keep it lively and full of energy. Make sure your gestures are specific and illustrative.
T – Tension. It is common for a speaker to feel tense. Use that tension productively, as a means of extra energy. If you show your audience that you are feeling tense, they will feel tense, too. To get rid of tension from your body tighten each muscle group in your body, starting at your toes. Tighten, tighten, tighten! Then release. This exercise will calm your body and focus your voice.
E – Eyes. The eyes are the mirror of the soul. If you look at your audience they will look at you. Maintain eye contact for approximately 60% of your speaking time.
S – Smile. Smiling is inborn, instinctive and universal. A natural, spontaneous smile elicits a smile in response. A fake smile is easy to spot and will be perceived as untrustworthy and false. It is not natural to smile all the time, so don’t feel compelled to do so! There are times when smiling is inappropriate and a stern or solemn is more appropriate and effective. As long as your smile is genuine, it is a good device to use at the beginning and end of your meeting or presentation.
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