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Oratory: The Art of speaking in public

  1. Body language in public speaking
  2. What is body language? Body language is part of non-verbal communication. It is the combination of movements, gestures, and postures. This includes the way a speaker talks, moves and looks on stage. Body language is part of the message a speaker wants to give. Many people only think body language is only about the way you position yourself on stage. This is a big part of it, but there is much more. Body language shows your confidence. The right attitude on stage gives you an air of authority, which supports your story.
  3. The importance of body language in public speaking Why is body language important? You can say that having the wrong body language makes that your talk almost can’t be a success. You need a lot of talent on other elements to make up for bad body language. Some examples of bad body language include: turning your back to the audience, moving around too much or hiding behind a desk. Gesturing also can have a bad influence on your talk. Being too aggressive in your gestures, drumming your fingers or even biting your nails are also bad examples. But even when you aren’t doing a bad job, improving your body language can have a big effect. Especially on the way, the audience receives your talk. It can make a difference between a nice talk and actually persuading people. This is why it is important for everyone to pay attention to.
  4. What elements to pay attention to Good body language means you are paying attention to different elements. For example, you have to know how to move, where to look, where to stand and what gestures to make. Looking at your audience Where are you on stage?
  5. Happy vs sad Importance of facial expressions: are you smiling? Think about your energy level Be in control
  6. How body language can impact an audience
  7. The biggest element in communication is not your words, it’s your body language. What you say with your body is more important than what you say with your mouth. Being able to communicate with your body makes that your impact on an audience can be much bigger. That’s because your body brings emotion to the story. World Champion Public Speaking 2015, Mohammed Qathani, uses some smart techniques that help him capture the attention of the audience. In this video, we break down how Qathani uses body language to make a more powerful story.
  8. Moving on stage Facial expressions Connect to the audience with gestures
  9. 8 Elements of Confident Body Language
  10. 1. Power pose Why? In 2011, US social psychologists Amy Cuddy, Dana Carney and Andy Yap proposed that holding a ‘powerful pose’ resulted in people actually feeling more powerful. Their theory suggests that an open pose can raise testosterone levels and lower your cortisol levels - ie. increase your dominance and lower your stress.
  11. How: 1. Stand straight with your shoulders back and feet shoulder width apart. 2. Imagine your shoulders opening up from one another so that they rest centrally. 3. Place your hands either side of your body so that you can easily make hand gestures when you need to. 4. Face the audience as much as possible. If you’re in a large room, tilt your whole body towards different parts of the audience so everyone feels included.
  12. 2. Eye contact Why? Making eye contact with your audience builds a connection between you and them and they feel more valued by you. This makes the audience more likely to respect and listen to you because they feel important. It also makes the audience trust you more because people tend to avoid eye contact when they’re lying. Confident body language can also be used as a feedback loop. Making eye contact is the easiest to way to receive feedback from the audience about your speech. You can see if your audience are listening and read their facial expressions to see if they are interested, bored, angry, happy, and so on.
  13. 3. Hand gestures Why? When used correctly, hand and arm gestures can help enhance your message and make you seem more confident and relaxed. Gestures amplify your stories and will help you come across as more genuine and believable. They’re an essential element of our non- verbal communication in showing others how we feel, and in turn how we make them feel. Hand gestures are one of the most clear non-verbal ways we communicate confident body language or nervous body language - and your audience will react more positively to the former.
  14. How: • Think of your hand gestures as a storytelling tool; put verbs into action by acting them out with your hands. • Don’t overdo it - gesture sparingly, and focus on action words. Make your gestures strong and defined. • Begin in a neutral position with your hands either side of your body so that your hand gestures flow smoothly. • Use symbolic gestures to communicate numbers and position, eg. 2 fingers for the number 2 and a raised hand for stop. • Use descriptive gestures to communicate movement, eg. shapes, size, length, etc. • Use emotional gestures to communicate feelings, eg. hands clasped together to show pleading, hands raise either side of your head to show despair. • When using visual aids, point and turn slightly to look at the relevant data, and the audience will automatically follow your hands and eyes. • Vary your gestures with different parts of your body. You don’t have to just use your arms- you could use your legs, facial expressions and full body movement as gestures too.
  15. 4. Movement Why? 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. Commanding the space around you shows strong leadership and, after all, when you’re presenting you are the leader. 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.
  16. How: • Don’t pace around the stage every 30 seconds - this is distracting to your audience. Wait at least 3 minutes before moving to another area of the stage. • Time your movement on stage with a change in topic - this is a way of physically marking the transition. • Move towards the audience when asking questions or making an important point. • When you’re walking to another side of the stage, try to avoid turning your back to any areas of the audience as this disconnects them and can come across as rude. • Avoid swaying or rocking on the spot - either walk to another area of the stage or don’t move your entire body at all.
  17. 5. Expressions Why? People depend on facial expressions to interpret motives and emotions so an audience will respond better to you if you are expressive. This is a bit like acting - you want to emphasize your expressions so that everyone in the audience can interpret meaning from them. You could film yourself speaking and identify artificial or unfriendly facial expressions you make when telling a story and replace them with more genuine, believable expressions. Try to practice speaking with your face to show happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise. Your face should reflect the emotions within your stories.
  18. How: • When trying to show shock or confusion, raise your eyebrows. • If you’re conveying anger or concern, frown. • When you’re happy in your story, simply smile. • For sad moments, frown a little and slightly tilt the sides of your lips downwards.
  19. 6. Mannerisms Why? Mannerisms are the nervous habits most people have that detract from your message and can make the audience feel uncomfortable. They are key to confident body language. 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’.
  20. How: • To break these habits, film yourself speaking and become aware of them. • You could ask a trusted friend to tell you if you have any. • Once you’ve acknowledged your nervous habits, work in your everyday conversation to break them. If you can break them on a small scale, you’ll likely find they disappear in front of larger audiences too.
  21. 7. Breathing Why? Even though your audience can’t see your breath, it is a significant factor in portraying confident body language. 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. 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.
  22. How: • Before you present or speak in public, do some breathing exercises to warm up your voice and fill your lungs. Slowly inhale for 3 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat this as often as you need to, in order to feel calm. • Always make sure you’re standing up straight so that your lungs can expand fully.
  23. How: • Before you present or speak in public, do some breathing exercises to warm up your voice and fill your lungs. Slowly inhale for 3 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat this as often as you need to, in order to feel calm. • Always make sure you’re standing up straight so that your lungs can expand fully.
  24. 8. Voice Why? Your vocal expression is physical and so your body language has an effect on your voice and can enhance or detract from the message of your speech. Albert Mehrabian wrote extensively on the relative importance of verbal and non-verbal messages and his findings have been quoted for years as the ‘7 - 38 - 55 Rule’. That is: our words convey 7% of meaning, our tone 38% and our body language makes up 55% of what the audience will remember.
  25. How: • Imagine you have a string on the crown of your head that is being gently pulled. This will help elongate your spine, maximise your rib cage and allow more air to inflate your lungs and support your vocal expression. • Watch videos of good and bad speeches to see how their words are in tune with their body language, or how they are not. • Practice varying your pitch. You can do this with the VirtualSpeech app that you gain access to when purchasing the Essential Public Speaking course.
  26. Exercises
  27. Tongue In-and-Outs Stick your tongue out and hold it for 2 seconds, then pull it back in. Hold for 2 seconds, and repeat
  28. Tongue Side-to-Side Open your mouth and move your tongue to touch the right corner of your mouth. Hold for 2 seconds, then touch the left corner of your mouth. Hold for 2 seconds, and repeat.
  29. Tongue Up-and-Down Open your mouth and stick your tongue out. Then, reach your tongue up toward your nose. Hold for 2 seconds, then reach your tongue down toward your chin. Hold for 2 seconds, and repeat.
  30. Say Cheese! To help improve control of your lips, practice smiling in front of a mirror. Smile, then relax. Repeat as much as you can stand.
  31. Consonant & Vowel Pairing Repetition Once you have exercised your tongue, you can start to practice making sounds. Take a consonant that you have trouble saying, and then pair it with each of the 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u).