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Body Language for Presentations

When we stand and present, we want to
come across as confident and composed. And one of the great ways to do that is
by working on our body language. Let’s look at three ways to improve your
nonverbal body language in presentations. Coming up. Hello again, friends. If you never seen one of my videos, I’m Alex Lyon. And this channel, Communication
Coach, is here to help you increase your impact so you can lead your teams
to higher levels of excellence. And I believe that presentation skills are a
really important part of leadership. You’re going to be standing and
presenting quite frequently if you’re in any kind of leadership position. So we
want to get just a little bit better at this. Let’s look at three ways you can
improve your nonverbal body language so that people can hear your message in a
much more confident and composed way. And these tips, by the way, go together. So each of the three tips have a couple of pieces as you’ll see. So the first tip is
eye contact and smile. So eye contact. You have to look directly into
somebody’s eyes that’s listening about 99% of the time. You don’t want to look
too much at your notes. You don’t want to look back at your slides really. You
certainly don’t want to look at the floor over their heads. A lot of bad
habits out there in terms of eye contact. You want to look directly in someone’s
eyes almost the whole time and that really takes quite a bit of practice. The
other thing you want to do is look directly into somebody’s eyes long
enough to finish a thought and then move on to the next person. So you don’t want
to just stare at one person the whole time and you don’t want to scan so that
you’re never locking in. A communication coach actually once told me, “One thought, one look.” So long enough to finish about a sentence, feel that connection, and then you move on to the next person. So what do you do with your face while you’re
making eye contact. You’ve got to smile. A lot of times people get overly
robotic when they present. They might be making good eye contact but their face
is stern. And it doesn’t look like anything’s happening emotionally. You
want to smile and warm your face up a little bit so that when you’re making
eye contact with somebody they feel a connection with you that’s welcoming and supportive. You don’t want to come across as a deer in the headlights. Tip number
two. Posture and gestures. And these things go together. So in terms of
what not to do for posture, you don’t want to shuffle your feet back and forth.
You don’t want to sway your hips. You don’t want to cross and uncross your
legs repetitively. You don’t want to pace around like a wild person. By the way, if
you want to walk in a presentation, it’s okay to walk a little bit but make sure
when you walk you stop and you say a little bit before you walk again. So walk
with a purpose, stop, share your message, and then maybe a minute or so later, walk again. Don’t pace. So once you have these don’ts out of the
way, what should you do? You want to stand with your feet about shoulder width
apart. This is how you would stand if you weren’t self-conscious about how you’re
standing. We get self-conscious when we present but really all you have to do is
stand like a normal person. Then you want to put just a tiny bit of weight on the
front of your foot and a little tiny bit lighter on your heels. And your whole
foot is still touching, but you have a little bit more of a ready responsive
position. You also want to soften your knees a little bit. You don’t want to
have locked knees. Bad things happen when your lock your knees. I’m not sure of the
physiology of it but when people lock their knees, they oftentimes pass out when they’re nervous. And you don’t want to do that in the middle of your
presentation. So soften those knees. Now you’ve got your posture. Let’s add some
gestures to it. You don’t want to put your hands in your pockets. You don’t
want to put your hands behind your back. You don’t want to grab on to different
parts of your body for security. All that looks very distracting. So here’s what
you should do. You should loosely clasp your hands at about belt level. And then
you should just gesture naturally from there. You don’t want to interlock your
fingers you don’t want to wring your hands. Because then you’ll get too locked
in and it’s hard to let go. But if you practice at home just loosely clasping
your hands like this then just start to gesture naturally from here and that’s
the way to do it. Small little gestures just like this. You can do this all day
long and it’s just going to add a nice emphasis to your words and it’s not
going to be distracting whatsoever. Tip number three. You want to pause. And when you pause after a key idea, add a little tiny bit of a nod. I’ve seen some really
convincing and persuasive speakers do this. And what you’ll notice if you pause
after a key idea and nod that pause is really persuasive but the nodding is
contagious. You’ll see that people listening to you actually
start to nod a little bit with you. And that’s one of the ways that you know you
have them. It’s a very subtle but powerful nonverbal body language tip. So
those are my three tips for improving your nonverbal body language when you’re
presenting. But I’d like to hear your tips. Question of the day, how do you
recommend that we improve our body language while we’re presenting. Please
put the comments below in that section. I look forward to reading those. So, thanks.
God bless. I’ll see you in the next video.

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