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Body Talk: 3 Body Language Tips to Boost Self-Esteem

Positive body language is often seen as the effect of self-confidence. But it can also be the other way around.

According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy, people experience a boost in self-esteem when they change their body language. Use the benefits of positive body language to your advantage in preparing for a presentation. Having a higher level of confidence in yourself before presenting drives away lingering anxiety. It also helps you focus on your delivery.

The next time you feel anxious before a presentation, try the following:

Victory Pose

Experts agree that posing with expansive gestures and a widened stance increases your confidence. Taking off from Cuddy’s discussion of body language, whenever you “open up” for this pose, your testosterone levels rise, increasing your feelings of dominance and assertiveness.

On the other hand, it also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Before facing your audience, seek out a private space and practice your victory pose. Straighten your back and push your shoulders back while keeping your head up and raise your arms in a “V” shape.

Tense up

While it may seem counterintuitive, tensing up beforehand can actually increase your willpower. Studies show that keeping muscles firm allows you to endure pain and other unpleasant feelings longer than someone who doesn’t.

Aside from the victory pose, this technique comes in handy during an extreme case of stage fright. It will strengthen your resolve to push through with your presentation.

Cross your Arms

When you feel like you’re running out of ideas, try crossing your arms first. This gesture increases persistence and pushes you to think up better solutions to your problems.

In a study published in the European Journal of Psychology by Roy Friedman and his colleagues, university students were tested with the hypothesis. Those who crossed their arms managed to last longer through difficult anagrams. In comparison, students whose hands remained on their lap lasted for a shorter period of time. Similar to tensing up your muscles, crossing your arms is also an act of tightening, which is associated with energizing oneself.

As an example, think of how persistent a child whose arms are crossed can be against direct commands. Applying that for a positive purpose, persevere through your pre-presentation hurdles by crossing your arms. To help you last through a tough mental block for a presentation concept, cross your arms through it.

Body language isn’t just an indicator of how you feel, it can also be a catalyst in changing how you see yourself. Practice positive body language not just on your actual presentation, but also while preparing for it. You’ll be more likely to feel better about yourself and think of better ideas.

Doing a victory pose before a presentation helps you imbibe and radiate confidence to your intended audience. Tensing up during preparation allows you to withstand stress and fight your anxieties. In the same way, crossing your arms gives you the patience to come up with ideas for your presentation.

Use body language to your advantage and let it boost your self-esteem whenever you experience presentation jitters. Need help with your presentation? Contact our SlideGenius experts and get a free quote today!

Count from 1 to 5: A Quick Guide to Great Presentations

Planning for presentations is like teaching math to a child. That is, according to keynote speaker Stephen Boyd, it begins with counting numbers. If a child knows how to count from one to ten before starting formal education, speakers can also use these basic numbers as a guide in making their business talks count.

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Let’s focus first on the first five.

One Main Idea

For a presentation to be effective, it must have one main idea, and, at least, one idea per slide.

Focusing on a central idea allows your audience to easily understand your purpose and follow your discussion flow. When this main point is communicated seamlessly, it’ll be easy for you to create lead-ins to your supporting details.

Two: Compare and Contrast

Comparison and contrast are convincing techniques that explain two distinct topics or subjects.

They are useful when stressing your edge over your competitors or when relating your product’s importance to something your audience members can better understand. Express your creativity with figurative language like metaphors, similes and personification to make a bigger impact and persuade them to do business with you.

Rule of Three

A presentation is divided into three important parts: the beginning, middle, and end. The rule of three streamlines your discussion with an interesting and memorable structure.

Most stories are crafted with these three parts. Take advantage of this framework to strip down all of your arguments, pieces of evidence, statement of facts, and takeaways into easily digestible and explainable information.

Four: Forethought

It’s possible to deliver your speech alone without needing four allies to save you from life-threatening situations like in action movies.

The key is forethought.

Planning ahead prevents common mistakes and formulates potential solutions whenever problems arise. Practice and preparation keeps you from using short-cuts, ensuring that you convey your message sincerely.

Last Five Minutes

The last five minutes of your talk are as important as your introduction.

Bad endings undermine your credibility and negatively reinforce ideas to your audience. Think of powerful ways to make an effective close. Cite a quote, use videos, or crack a humorous statement.


Numbers are not only great pieces of evidence but are also useful guides for making successful presentations. Keep the aforementioned big five in mind as you prepare your materials.

Looking for PowerPoint experts to help you on your presentation needs? Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or request for a free quote from SlideGenius today.


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Applying the Rule of Three to Your Presentations.SlideGenius, Inc. May 5, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2015.
Great PowerPoint Presentations Need Great Main Ideas.SlideGenius, Inc. April 30, 2015. Accessed July 23, 2015.
Public Speaking By Numbers.Public Speaking Tips. August 17, 2011. Accessed July 23, 2015.


Featured Image: “Count on fingers” on 1001freedownloads