Creating Confidence

Tue, 23 Feb, 2021

The Importance of Body Language in Public Speaking

body language in public speaking

When a person takes to a podium to address an audience, they communicate not just with their voice but also with facial expressions, posture, eye contact, and hand gestures. Body language is a crucial lesson for children learning public speaking. Body language is an essential part of public speaking, and this needs to be practiced from a young age.

Help your child understand that even when a speaker is equipped with the right words, the wrong body language can hamper your presentation. On the other hand, even if they could not write the best speech ever, body language and gestures can change the game.

Here are some critical body language tips for public speaking –

1. Eye-Contact

Making direct eye-contact with the audience is essential for keeping your audience engaged and connected with you. Especially when answering a question from a member of the audience, maintaining eye-contact helps convey sincerity and credibility. A good speaker can convey their confidence and authority with the help of eye-contact.

2. Facial Expressions

Words evoke the right emotions when accompanied by the right facial expressions. Audiences universally understand emotions such as anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, and surprise through facial expressions. Expressing yourself with a smile can make your audience more comfortable and amiable.

3. Head Movements

Body movements in public speaking are not limited to hand gestures or body postures. Your head's position can also convey a lot about your attitude or mindset to your audience. Tilting your head can express interest, lowering your head can mean fatigue, and turning your head away from the audience can convey nervousness.

4. Hand Gestures

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of gestures in public speaking. There are various ways in which a speaker can use their hands to complement or reinforce the message they are making. Excessive hand gestures can be distracting but including some hand gestures with your speech helps your audience remember what you say.

5. Body Posture

Public speaking gestures and body language may not have the desired impact in the absence of the right body posture. A rigid posture shows nervousness or tension, while a slouching stance means laziness or indifference. Maintain a relaxed but alert posture on-stage to convey the right impression to your audience.

6. Breathing

Controlling your breath is an important body language tip for public speaking. Maintaining relaxed breathing helps keep the mind clear and lends power to the voice. Slow breathing and tactical pauses in the speech will help in emphasizing the right points.

Parents looking for body language tips for public speaking in children should try to inculcate good body language practices in themselves as well. Children take a cue from their parents and follow their example. Experienced speakers use a variety of non-verbal communication methods to make an impression on their audiences. A confident body language is vital for any public speaking activity. So whether your child wants to participate in storytelling, debates, elocutions or a model united nations – using the right body language can help them do better for sure.