15 body language tips to improve your public speaking

Hate public speaking? You’re not alone. In fact, most people dislike public speaking to a degree – from simply feeling a bit nervous, to full on glossophobia (fear of public speaking).

Even if you’re a nervous public speaker, there are some steps you can take to feel more comfortable around it and, as a result get better at it.

Aside from making sure you’re fulling prepped for your talk or presentation (you can read tips on writing and structuring a killer presentation here), working on your body language can make a big difference to how you come across, and feel about speaking publicly.

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15 body language tips to improve your public speaking

The importance of good body language can’t be underestimated. It’s incredibly important not only to audience engagement,  but to how your overall message is received. No matter how good your speech, if you are motionless, expressionless and dull, your audience will lose interest within minutes.

To help you master your body language, the London Speaker Bureau have put together 15 quick and simple tips.

Posture

  • Keep a good posture, stand straight with shoulders back, relaxed and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Do not cross your arms, put your hands in your pocket or slouch.
  • Face the audience as much as possible and keep your body open.

Breathing

  • Relaxed and deep breaths ensure that your voice holds power and can project.
  • Use slow and measured breathing to pace your speech, pause to emphasise key points.

Gestures

  • Use hand gestures to emphasise your words
  • Keep the audience’s attention by varying your gestures, incorporating your head, arms and hands.
  • Use positive gestures to sway your audience.
  • When using visual aids, point and look at the relevant data. The audience will automatically follow your hands and eyes.

Eye contact

  • Moving from face to face, making eye contact while speaking ensures that the audience is engaged.
  • When answering an audience member’s question maintain eye contact, this conveys sincerity and credibility.

Movement

  •  Move around the presentation space, your speech will be more dynamic.
  • Use movement to illustrate transitions from one subject or key point to another.
  • Stepping towards the audience creates a positive feeling, use this technique when you want to encourage or persuade your audience.

Facial expression

  • A simple smile will make your audience feel more comfortable and at ease.

The London Speaker Bureau is the world’s leading speaker and advisory network. Find out more on their website