Public Speaking: 3 Simple Techniques to Skyrocket your Credibility when Presenting-Part 1 (Body Movement)
You’ve prepared the valuable information for your presentation. You’re confident about the content you’ll be sharing. Perhaps you’re giving a workshop. It’s the first time you’re giving this presentation. You’re knowledgeable and excited about the material yet you’re worried that your delivery will negatively affect your credibility. Your mind races with one of the three common questions that people ask when they give presentations.
1. What do I do with my body when I’m nervous?
2. What do I do with my voice when I’m nervous?
3. How do I read my audience?
This article addresses the first of these 3 questions. Parts 2 and 3 of this article answer the remaining two questions. These techniques will engage your audience. They’ll highlight you as credible about your topic. They’ll prove to put your fears at ease when employed. Here’s the answer to the first question.
What do I do with my Body when I’m Nervous?
Dave Mathews has a lyric that goes “Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay for a while.” The tendency for many of us when we’re nervous is to move around the room. This excessive movement can distract your audience from the content you’re presenting.
1. Plant your feet in one spot. Feel the ground with the outside and inside edges of your feet. Wiggle your toes. This will remind you to stay flexible. Although you’re standing with your feet in one spot, you will still be able to relax your body. As you feel less anxious and in control of your body, you can take a step or two and pause.
2. Keep your knees supple (not locked). Keeping your feet in one area, allow your upper body to move naturally.
3. Gesture with your torso. If you use excessive arm and hand gestures that are distracting, challenge yourself to deliver your content with your arms at your sides. Provide movement variability and contrast by flexing at your hips as you lean into your audience for emphasis.
4. Make eye contact with different members of your audience. Rather than scanning the whole room and not looking any one individual in the eye, briefly engage eye contact with one person. Move to the next. Favor no one particular group of audience members at either side of the room. Make mental note of anyone whose body language is expressing interest in what you’re saying. This will support your confidence.
These techniques will usually function in 4 ways. They’ll automatically ground you. They’ll ease your tension. They’ll decrease your anxiety. They’ll improve your confidence. Not to mention, your audience members will connect their brains to what you’re saying and not to what you’re doing. Your participants will also feel that you’re confident in what you’re sharing.
Now go out there and Rock your Audience!