Body Language in Presentations – What To Do and What Not To Do
You are the biggest tool you have in creating a successful and engaging presentation. It is not what you say but how you say it that will have the greatest impact. In this short post I am not talking about your actual voice. If you want hints and tips on that take a look at my post Using your Voice Effectively.
Body language makes up 58% of the meaning that people take from what you say. You can’t say ” I love you” with your arms crossed and standing bolt upright. It just won’t work.
Here I am going to give you a list of Dos and Donts in terms of using your body language when presenting.
Do move around. Having a presenter that is stood rigid in one spot is very un engaging for your audience.
Do use your arms and hands. A presenter that uses their arms and hands to describe or denote what they are saying is far more animated and therefore interesting to the audience.
Do Smile. Having a friendly face to listen to will keep your audience on side.
Do use eye contact. Make sure you encompass the whole room with this. Direct eye contact is not always necessary but making sure the whole room feels included is.
Don’t stand with your arms behind your back. When you cannot see someone’s hands it installs a level of distrust in people. You want your audience to trust in what you are saying.
Don’t point. It’s rude and accusing. This also goes for pointing with a pen or anything else you may be holding.
Don’t keep moving. I know I said move in the Do section but some points of stillness will have a great impact on a message. You have to find the balance.
Don’t rock or sway. These are annoying types of moving.
Don’t fidget. This will make you look nervous.
When we are presenting there is a lot to think about and most of us concentrate on what we are actually saying and this can be a huge mistake. In general make sure you are stood in an upright and open position and make sure you smile at your audience and employ great eye content.
I wish you luck in your presentations and hope that you can start to enjoy doing them. Doing them well is a great skill to have.
If you have any questions or need more specific help, leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.