When it comes to public speaking, what you say can be easily overshadowed by how you say it.
Even if you manage to write the perfect speech – one that is captivating and perfectly conveys your points with accessible language – it can all go to waste if your delivery doesn’t back up your words.
That perfect speech can quickly be ruined by poor posture, lack of eye contact, and nervous shuffling. Remember, your audience doesn’t know how much work went into this presentation; all they see is what happens on stage. If you’re committing the aforementioned public speaking faux pas, you are undermining your own credibility and stealing the impact of your carefully chosen words.
So the next time you’re preparing to present, practice not just the dialogue, but also the delivery. Don’t rehearse your speech sitting at your desk. Instead, stand up, pull your shoulders back, and address an imaginary audience. Picture yourself on stage, at the front of a boardroom, or at the head of a table full of guests. Get comfortable connecting your body’s actions to your mouth’s words, and remember the point behind your speech – to inform, to congratulate, to entertain.
Use this guide to familiarize yourself with the proper body language for public speaking, and ensure that every aspect of your presentation projects an air of confidence.
“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” – Dale Carnegie