Body language tips for speakers

Body language tips to improve your speaking

Improving your understanding and delivery of nonverbal communication takes time and practice to improve. First we need to recognise the power of nonverbal communication.

Facial expressions

Body language tips for speakers

Our faces show how we feel, even when we try and hide it. Learning how to read facial and body expression gives us insight into the accuracy and honesty of communication.  We are far more likely to believe the body language we see, than what we hear.

Eye contact

Eye contact helps us build better rapport with our listeners. Aim for 3 seconds per person when speaking to a group of people. Pick a few people in different areas of the room when speaking to a large crowd – this helps the whole audience feel the rapport. Avoid staring at one person, particularly when speaking on a 1-to-1 basis. In a 1-to-1 conversation try looking at your listener at the end of your sentence to reinforce the message in that sentence.


Gestures can help give your voice extra energy and confidence. Using gestures to reinforce key words adds greater emphasis to your message. Gestures should be congruent with what is said e.g happy smile, open body postures or sad frown, closed body language. Be aware of denial gestures e.g. touching your face, rubbing your nose, scratching your head or fiddling with your  clothes, hair or a pen. To improve your gesture  Feel, show then say – first feel the emotion, show it with your body then say the words.

Own the stage

Stand up strait, smile and acknowledge your audience with your eyes to own the stage. Take a little time, don’t rush. Hunched shoulders and a nervous look comes across as apologetic. Adopt an Anchor Position when you want to keep your body posture calm and controlled (confident, relaxed and good posture). When sitting, keep your back strait, this helps support your posture, maintains energy and command. Aim to keep your body language open and relaxed at all times. Your physical position and attitude can affect your psychological/emotional state.

Movement and using your space

Be aware of other people’s space and try not to invade it. To help achieve rapport when speaking to others 1-to-1 try to match their energy levels and posture e.g. either both sit or stand with the body subtly angled in towards the other person.

#BodyLanguage tips for #speakers #PresentationSkillsBody language tips for speakers

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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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