Public speaking is not easy, for anyone. Pro or not—everyone skips a beat right before entering the stage. Though you could have survived it in the 1800s when the only way of public speaking was to convey your opinion through the written word, but today everything is different. Let’s throw some light on one of the important part which is “Importance of Posture In Public Speaking”
You get 7 seconds to make a first impression and it’s largely based on image appearance. That’s why business leaders and politicians of today are conscious of their image appearance. The importance of posture in public speaking is crystal clear in the present age.
The image appearance or the body posture of each business leader, or C-suite executive has a strong impact on how people perceive that individual. It even goes so far; that the high profile executives have body-language consultants to align their non-verbal cues with the verbal ones during public speaking engagements.
Professionals with “eye-catching functions” like managers, lecturers, and lawyers need to opt for good posture if they are speaking in public to enhance credibility and the power of their spoken words.
If your profession demands you to face a group of people and communicate, learn to do it with authority & openness. Enroll in our eight-week course and lead with good posture.
Picture the great leaders and speakers throughout history. Can you think of even one who was slumped over in posture? Or failed to make eye contact? Or one who has a closed posture?
The answer most definitely is no. That’s not what makes a good speaker— good posture does. Looking at the renowned speakers across the globe will affirm the importance of posture in public speaking for you.
Though it’s a basic body language rule like your parents telling you to stand up straight and put your shoulders back as a child, etc. yet most adults forget to maintain their body posture as they grow up and take more senior roles.
To elaborate on the importance of posture in public speaking, let’s explore the effects of good and bad posture on you and your audience.
Amy Cuddy conducted research called the “power poses” to assess the effect of body language on confidence. Power poses ask you to stand up straight in a bold stance, take up more space by putting your hands on your hips like Wonder Woman, and smile broadly to indicate confidence.
The basic idea behind this experiment is to consciously position the body in such a way that by standing or smiling confidently you must feel more confident about yourself.
It successfully concluded that merely standing powerfully causes your mind to boost your confidence and deliver a better presentation in front of an audience without being anxious. That’s the prime example of how good posture affects you.
Since we’re talking about public speaking, you can’t ignore the positive effects of opting for a good posture on your listeners. The findings make it crystal clear that the openness of the speaker’s body language and their closeness to the audience improves the positive reception of the speaker.
Now you may wonder if all a posture has to do with confidence, is it even crucial?
Let me answer this by telling you what lack of good posture can cost you.
You can also learn How To Become More Polished Speaker
Posture can not only help you curb your anxiety and instill confidence but save you from a ton of embarrassment as well.
Think about it—what’s the use of preparing hard-hitting points for a big presentation when your audience ends up ignoring you?
The reason being your body language is distracting them from your message.
Good posture can help you connect but bad posture has the opposite effect as well.
If you’re nervous or self-doubting, it will show. If you’re worried about your attire or hair, it will show. All these tiny tidbits contribute to major blunders on stage.
Learn to avoid these posture blunders and prepare to present with confidence.
When people get nervous, the first instinct is to avoid eye contact and protect themselves from vulnerability. However, avoiding eye contact seems insecure and suspicious at worst, as if you need to hide something. Learning to make good eye contact will help you feel confident and confident at all times.
Frankly, you have no excuse to slouch on stage. Slouching is just lazy. It also conveys boredom or implies indifference or disrespect. That’s not what you want to show on stage or in the workplace.
In your next presentation, don’t make this mistake. Pull your shoulders back and keep your head up, remembering to convey power through your posture can make a difference.
Looking at your notes too often during a presentation can be just a nervous urge. But over-reliance on your notes during a presentation conveys a lack of confidence or preparation to your audience. Neither is ideal. Be prepared for your presentation and trust that you know the material.
Getting excited is not a bad thing. Overly gesticulating during a presentation can make you feel a little manic and even disingenuous.
Gestures should emphasize the point and should not be distracting. Show your enthusiasm with small, controlled gestures that keep the audience’s attention on your message.
Crossed limbs, especially crossed arms, represent narrowness of mind. You want to be open and welcoming with your audience. Therefore, do not cross your legs or arms.
While it’s important not to stand still during your presentation, turning your back to the audience while you’re on the move is also a bad idea.
It’s okay to point out important points during a presentation. But if something on the screen needs attention, gesture at the screen while facing the audience.
Turning your back on the audience is a surefire way to ensure that your audience checks out of your presentation.
The combination of excitement and nervousness during a presentation can quickly lead to disaster. Too many first-time speakers talk a mile a minute and don’t even notice it. But the audience surely does.
When practicing your presentation, do it once and concentrate only on controlling the speed of your speech. Your audience will appreciate you.
You should know how to pace yourself when speaking.
Avoiding these body language blunders in public speaking will help you appear calm and self-assured. Needless to say, you can win over your audience by assigning importance to posture in public speaking.
Take the first step in the right direction by undergoing posture training by experts. Check out our public speaking course to learn the body language of leaders.
For starters, you can consider the following tips and improve your posture.
Standing up straight has been the battle cry of mothers, grandmothers, and teachers for generations to teach good posture to kids. But here are 7 other ways to better your posture for a presentation and become more mindful of your body language.
This is a good way to test and see how a straight stance feels. Stand against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the back of your head, shoulders, and glutes just touching the wall. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but when your posture improves, you will feel like this.
Improper standing is the first place it can cause postural problems, also known as continuous curvature. Most people put too much weight on their heels, which puts strain on their ankles, knees, hips, and hips. Practice standing with your weight evenly distributed across your foot, including each toe.
Proper breathing techniques can remind you of how you stand by puffing and stretching your chest. stop. Breathe out slowly through your nose with your tongue touching the palate. Rinse and repeat.
Leg muscles are the foundation of good posture, so avoid shoes (even thick socks) that disrupt your natural posture. You may find that the cause of your slouch is a pair of heels or wedges. Consider wearing flat shoes to distribute your weight evenly. It may seem less supportive at first, but in the long run, it can improve your foot’s strength, mobility, and stability.
Is your posture worth panicking about?
Have a friend take a candid photo at your next presentation. Let it decide if you’re missing some posture: straight back, straight shoulders, chin up (but not too high), chest forward, tummy tucked in. If you can’t draw a straight line anywhere on the body in the photo, you probably need to focus on the problem area.
One way to improve your posture while sitting is to pull your elbows back and push your chest forward while moving your shoulders up and down. Repeat this movement until you are most comfortable, making sure your hips are not pushing your chest too far forward.
The classic book on the head technique isn’t just for snooty high schoolers, it’s a good indicator of balance and correct posture. Practice your presentation with a heavy book on your head. You’ll be amazed at how much you move and bend over during your speech.
The importance of posture in public speaking is as such that good posture lets your audience know that you are conscious, present, and a little bit intimidating. Be sure to mindfully practice posture before your next presentation.
Or take the help from speakers who can guide you for your upcoming presentation. Sign up for this course and let experts teach you the craft of public speaking.
Good posture is all it takes to amplify your confidence, stand tall, and walk deliberately to the stage center to deliver a presentation.
If you too want to WOW your audience with your power poses, bold stances, and a hint of authority in your walk, we got just what you need.
A curated online public speaking course for business leaders and C-suite executives led by an expert Tedx speaker. Sign up today for eight weeks of pure excellence.
Jeremiah O’Brian is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. His exceptionally diverse background – from gritty nuts-and-bolts firefighting to film and theatre credits and accolades – is bolstered by his several graduate degrees.