You have something important to say, but you’re worried. You’ve given presentations before, and even talked about this passion in smaller group settings, but you’ve had mixed results. Sometimes people really seem to ‘get’ you, but others don’t seem to get the right message.
The problem very likely lies in your body language. Depending on how your feeling, or how you’re reacting to your audience, your body language might be differing greatly from one conversation to the next. How do you get more positive results where you can come away from a conversation with the assurance your audience got the right message?
How do you stand when talking to someone? If you want to convey that you’re fully engaged, stand facing the other person completely. If things are getting tense and need to be defused, angle your body by about 45 degrees and continue your conversation in this position until things calm down.
People show they’re committed to your way of thinking when they sync up their body movements to yours. Encourage this by beginning the conversation by subtly mirroring their movements.
To show you’re engaged. Move in towards the other person. Leaning in their direction as though to hear better, lets the other person know you are interested in what they are saying.
By using smaller, more controlled gestures, you imply you’re in control. At the same time, make sure those gestures are loose enough, so you don’t give the impression of being uptight or nervous.
A firm, but gentle handshake will always impress.
When people are nervous, they tend to blink excessively. Be aware of this. If you find yourself blinking a lot, focus on relaxing by taking slower, more even breaths.
Keep your tone of voice low and even. Talking quickly or in a higher pitched than usual voice, also convey nervousness. Keep every statement from sounding like a question.
A genuine smile will put people at their ease, and often encourage them to smile in return.
If you’re up on stage, be sure to move around and not stay in one spot. Shift to a new position between pertinent points.
Pull the other person out of a defensive posture by handing them something, a business card or water bottle. This shifts their perspective as it shifts them physically.
Making sure your audience heard what you intended for them to hear is the greatest challenge of any communicator. Using your body language to get your point across becomes one of the most important tools at your disposal to do just that.