In human relationships, at work or in a speech, action always speaks louder than words. I am sure we have been an audience to speakers who bored us not because their speech was ill-organized. But simply because the manner of their deliverance was bland.
The fifth project of Toastmasters emphasis on the use of body movements, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact and stances to engross your listeners into your speech.
- Connect with the audience using eye contacts
- Make appropriate facial and body movements
- Uses stances and gestures to retain the attention of the listeners
a) Preparation and confidence
Awkward body movements project lack of preparation. A prepared speaker will have a harmonized facial and body movements. Hence, prepare well. Eye contact portrays confidence. Maintain strong eye contact with the audience.
b) Use of stances, gestures, and body and facial movements
Your speech must be backed up by appropriate body movement. Your posture must be still and confident. Your facial expressions will have a great deal of effect on the quality of your speech.
c) Speech purpose and organization
Be selective in choosing the topic. Your manner of expression through the topic will determine its purpose. A well-organized speech to meet the purpose will be appreciated.
Tips and techniques
a) Remove Distracting movements
You are probably conditioned to an unconscious movement that appears to be a distraction when you speak. Remove or at least reduce them. Taking feedback from your peers or mentors might be helpful in recognizing these habits.
b) Make conscious gestures
Make conscious and rehearsed movements. To not be too noisy, focus only on one source of body expression. For instance, you are expressing feelings of sadness through facial expressions, avoid making body movements. Keep the movements less but impactful.
c) Do not over-do it
This speech is not to show our acting skills but to incorporate movements to enhance your speech. Do not over-do it. Avoid making unnecessary facial expressions. The same sentence can have different meanings depending upon the emotional aspect you attach it with.
d) Record a video
To better understand what fits and what doesn’t, record a video of yourself. Eliminate the distracting movements. If recognizing noisy movements is difficult, then tell your speech to a friend or a relative.
What will you benefit?
a) Body language release stress and nervousness
Body movements will help you get control over your nervousness. Facial expressions will not make you look blank. It will make you appear confident.
b) Gain more command over the audience
By making movements, you will not only be able to grab the attention of the audience but also retain it. Your expression will enhance the emotional aspect of the speech making it more interesting.
c) Control over your speech
Through the use of body and facial language, you will sound more convincing and interesting. Your increasing control over the speech will make your audience lose track of time.