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.
With Grace and Gratitude

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.