For a speaker, confident body language is very important. But how many of us truly know what we are saying with our bodies? Here are some tips to show how confident you are when you’re at the front of the room.
Body Language Tip #1: Smile
“Smiles say a lot to people,” says Featured Speaker C.C. Culver. It is the easiest body language we have, too. Big white teeth and a happy grin show everyone you are happy and confident. If you smile at someone else, it’s nearly impossible for them to not smile in return. So smile, it increases your face value!
Body Language Tip #2: Look nice and be comfortable
Looking like you picked your clothes out of the hamper is probably not the message you want to send. It’s hard to smile a big smile if you feel like you look like something the cat dragged in. So do yourself a favor, make sure you are properly dressed when you’re going to be on stage. “My goal is to be dressed at least one step above the best dressed person in the audience,” says Featured Speaker Bob Bevard. “Whatever’s going to happen in that room, I need to look like I’m the authority like I am the lead person in the room.”
That doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable, however. “If you go in front of an audience when you feel like your dress is too tight, or your shoes don’t fit and hurt your feet, or whatever else, you’re not in one of your best frames of mind,” says Featured Speaker Meg Waters. “So you need to be comfortable in what you’re wearing.”
Body Language Tip #3: Stand up straight
What your mama always said was true, slouching is for losers. Standing up straight makes it look like you know what you are doing, even if that isn’t the case. This type of body language also affects your physiology, giving you more energy and confidence.
Body Language Tip #4: Look up
Always make eye contact with members of your audience. Failing to do so will likely cause them to believe you aren’t trustworthy. “Eye contact is very important,” says Featured Speaker Laurel Clark. “What I’ve learned how to do, even when there’s a very large group — hundreds or thousands of people — is to look at one person at a time.”
Body Language Tip #5: Be still
Keep your arms relaxed and at your sides — unless you are doing a purposeful gesture. Stand firm and move with purpose. Pacing makes you look like you are frightened of something. And odd hands gestures, such as holding your hands in a steeple or prayer pose, or even keeping them in your pockets all the time, accentuate nervousness. Use your hands in a way that will help you – such as gesturing to make a point.