Body Language in a Presentation

As the speaker is the centre of attention a certain nervousness arises naturally, being featured at the head of group, large or small. Even the best of speakers can feel uneasy or anxious, walking out to give their presentation. The main objective should be to look relaxed and not to show the anxiety.

There are five main elements of body language and key points about each:

Posture

In order to achieve an effective speaking posture, one should stand erect but not stiff, relaxed but not sloppy. One should relax the shoulders and knees. One should feel alert and comfortable and let the arms hang naturally at the sides with the fingers relaxed. Immediately before your presentation, take a few deep, slow breaths and consciously relax your shoulders, neck, and jaw.

Gestures

Gestures, are the most effective form of body language and it can tremendously enhance your words. There are three types of gestures: Descriptive gestures that clarify your words. Emphatic gestures emphasize your words, for e.g. clenching your fist or pound the podium. Suggestive gestures create a mood or express a thought, e.g. shrug your shoulders to indicate ignorance or perplexity.

Body Movement

The whole body movement is the broadest and the most visible movement you can make as a speaker. It automatically attracts audience attention and audiences stay alert with speakers who move. On the other hand, too much body movement distracts the audience

Facial Expression

Audience can scrutinize speakers’ faces, eager for visual data to add meaning to their words. Your face can reflect your attitudes, feelings, and emotions more clearly than any other part of your body-. Your audience wants you to be confident, friendly, and sincere and watches your face for evidence of these qualities

Eye Contact

After the voice, the eyes are the most powerful tool for communicating. Your eyes either bind or separate you from, your audience. Every listener wants to feel you are talking to him or her. Eye contact accomplishes this. In most cultures, direct eye contact signals sincerity; lack of eye contact signals insincerity, disinterest, or lack of confidence–all message killers.

Videotaping

It is one of the best way to discover a strong and effective body language as well as any unconscious, nervous mannerisms. One should watch great speakers for ideas of how to maximize your own body language. Relax, be natural, and let your enthusiasm and sincerity project naturally to your listeners. Finally, have fun, and you’ll do fine as a presenter!

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