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Wednesday - 19 Feb 2020 on LinkedIn
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Make Your Body Speak

Action speaks louder than words”. A fact that has been proved time and time again by surveys, whether current or old ones. What you speak must be complimentary to the body movements, be it be gestures, or facial expressions. A contradictory verbal and physical language can render the audience in a state of confusion.

There are different ways of making the body speak.

Appearance is the first thing that catches one’s attention. Before making a speech, the personality that your appearance exhibits has the power to judge you. The dress should be suited to the occasion. Some meetings require formals, while some go for casuals. The first step is to enquire the dress code to be followed so as to prevent drawing unnecessary attention to oneself. The attire should be clean and well maintained. The colour, jewellery, make up, hairdo, all speak millions of the speaker. Avoid glittering jewellery or that jingles when you move. Similarly the choice of perfume must not distract the audience. The footwear must be in accordance to the dress and well maintained.

Walking pattern
When you move to the podium, the way you walk reflects the way you feel. Move with confidence or else the people might feel biased about the way you speak, even before you deliver your message. One might walk in the middle of the speech for the effect. To emphasize the point, besides adjusting your tone, stop, if you are moving about. The physical space must be at the required limit between the speaker and the audience. This might vary with the size of the room where the speech is delivered and the custom in the country. For example, in India the distance between the speaker and the audience is more, so due respect must be given to the customs followed.

The words you speak must be backed by gestures emphasizing the words spoken. Gestures must be supportive to the speech delivered and not distractive. Distractive gestures like frowning, lip biting, adjusting the clothing etc are a sign of nervousness and lack of confidence. One might not be aware of the nervous gestures that she makes unconsciously. To have an idea of one’s nervous gestures, get someone close to you to observe them and comment on it. Practice the speech to prevent the unwanted gestures from popping up and make the speech with confidence.

Facial expression
As the face mirrors the inner feelings, it can be used to emphasize one’s sentiments to the topic in hand. The right expressions can reflect the rigidness of one’s beliefs to the words spoken. The facial expressions not only reflect the speaker’s emotions, but also that of the audience. A disinterested look on the audience warns about the ineffectiveness in getting the message to the audience.

Eye contact
Maintenance of eye contact connects the speaker to the audience. The speaker should have confidence on the subject matter to be delivered before maintaining the eye contact. Eye contact adds a personal touch to the topic delivered.

A straight confident posture must be maintained as a poor posture is a sign of dispassionate attitude. To exude power and self confidence, the head should be held high, and the sitting posture straight.

Successful speakers have captivated the audience by their manner of speaking and delivery. Speakers like Steve Jobs and Ibrahim Gideon are known to reach out to their audience via their body language. The importance of having a positive body language is reflected in one of the study reports which states that in any speech made “body language comprises 55% [of total communication], whereas verbal content only provides 7%,” the other 38% consists of intonation, tone, sighs etc. (Raudsepp 2002).

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