The fear of public speaking is a common obstacle keeping you from delivering effective presentations. It affects your communication skills, making you more conscious of your words and your actions.
Exuding a confident and relaxed image is important when presenting to a crowd. However, according to presentation trainer Olivia Mitchell, speaking with confidence doesn’t only involve your pitching skills, but also your body language.
Below are tips for best expressing natural body language during your presentations:
Walking and speaking at a slower pace allow you to move calmly.
Slower movements make it easier for you to get something across without looking nervous.
They prevent you from expressing boring and unnecessary body language like scratching your face, looking at the floor, and rocking back and forth, which can seriously undermine your speech and distract your audience.
Space Everything Evenly
The amount of space on your presentation stage is as important as white space in your presentation slide.
But unlike white space, you need to fill in the spaces of the stage with your movement. Don’t stand stiffly in the center. This creates a disconnect between you and your listeners.
Showing your audience that you’re comfortable in the spotlight builds up spontaneous movement and gestures.
Free Your Hands
You can’t naturally express nonverbal cues if your hands aren’t free.
Keeping them in your pockets, holding them behind your back, and folding them across your chest hinder you from making actions that complement your presentation idea.
The most natural hand position is hanging them loosely at your sides. This gives you total freedom to move them for emphasizing points or interacting with your audience.
Relax Your Shoulders
Your business presentation is an extension of your company, just as your hands are connected to your shoulders.
All those hand and finger motions are expressed gently and naturally if your shoulders are relaxed.
Maintain a professional stance that keeps the shoulders back, your head up, and hands up front to convey confidence and reinforce your message and engage your audience.
Body language communicates assertiveness, appreciation, sincerity, and more.
Using nonverbal cues appropriately isn’t enough in presentations. They should also appear natural to mark an amazing speaking presence.
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“Public Speaking Anxiety: Facts, Stats, and Methods to Beat It.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed June 11, 2015.
“The 5-step Cure for Boring Body Language.” Speaking about Presenting. Accessed June 11, 2015.