4 Key Points to Appearing More Confident
Body language is an essential part of mastering public speaking skills. Your non-verbal cues will impact on how engaged your audience is, what they think of you as a presenter and the way your message is received. Even if you’ve prepared the best speech in the world, if you aren’t animated and presented the speech as a robot on stage, then your audience won’t know what you’ve said.
Working on your body language can make a big difference to how you come across to your audience, and how you feel about public speaking in general. We’ve put together 4 of the most important elements of your body language that will shape how successful your speech is, explaining why they’re important and how you can use them to your advantage.
When you speak, you do not just speak with what you say, you also speak with your body language. If you are feeling nervous, your body could be giving a different message to your audience than the one you are saying. From your facial expressions, to your posture and eye contact, they all add up to the quality of the points that you are delivering. Below are the key points to appearing more confident the next time you need to present a speech publicly.
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1. Power Pose
Holding a ‘powerful pose’ resulted in people actually feeling more powerful and confident. This theory suggests that an open pose can raise testosterone levels and lower your cortisol levels, which means increasing your dominance and lowering your stress. If you have confident body language and pretend you feel powerful, you’re more likely to actually feel it! It’s all behind the way you see things, and if you begin to implement positive thinking into a routine before stepping up on that stage, most likely you will appear more confident!
2. Movements around the stage
Commanding the space around you shows strong leadership. It is true that when you’re presenting, you are the leader. You lead the stage when you are presenting your ideas through verbal and non-verbal communication. Moving around the stage is a great way of showing your audience you are confident in what you’re saying and including everyone in the conversation. When you have confident body language, you’ll be more dynamic and interesting to listen to and your audience will not only be more engaged, but they will have more trust in your message too.
3. Good mannerism
Little gestures and habits can result from you being nervous on stage. Most people have these little habits that will make you appear less credible or too nervous, further pushing the audience attention away from your message and affect the way they perceive your points or ideas. Common habits you have that you might not be aware of are fiddling with your hair or suit, putting your hands in your pockets, and excessively using filler words such as ‘um,’ ‘so’ and ‘like’. It is important to monitor these habits and keep them to a minimum when presenting your speech.
Maintaining a slow, steady breath can reduce your stress levels and make you less likely to revert to nervous habits, bad posture, and excessive movement. Even though your audience can’t see your breath, it is a significant factor in portraying confident body language. Relaxed and deep breaths also ensure that you’re speaking at the right pace and your voice can project across the room, which in itself will make you feel and sound more confident.
Most of our body language and movement is subconscious so it can be difficult to retrain ourselves away from habits we’ve had for years. However, to master the art of public speaking you must also master your body’s language too. Of course, you don’t want to distract yourself from your speech by consciously thinking how you are standing, where you are looking, and if you’re breathing correctly.
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