body language

For Pro Speech customers

Areas to use different types of body language techniques will be personalised and written throughout your speech "notes" copy. 

See the below legend for reference to the notes added to your speech.

[Action ->] – perform a specified action from this point and until the end of the sentence

[Action -> description] – perform a specified action from this point until the specified word in the remainder of the sentence

Body language used during your speech, just like vocal variety, helps to convey meaning and capture your audience's attention. You express the meaning of your words as you are saying them using your body. Using 

gestures and movements can simultaneously elevate the drama of your stories and assist in portraying a relaxed, sincere and natural speaking manner. From your facial expressions to the hand movements, these actions can be used to add another dimension to key points in your speech, in the interests of conveying correct meaning and connecting with your audience. If you look to keep your speech gesture-free, be aware that your speech may come across in a similar way if you left out any vocal variety. It may come across monotonous.

Smiling

When you smile, you’re showing that you’re confident in what you’re saying and will appear more composed and friendly. On most occasions, like weddings, your audience wants to hear what you have to say. But, on other occasions. You may see a audience filled with blank faces. In any case - smile. A genuine smile will lighten the mood and will hopefully turn those blank faces into smiling ones. Perhaps surprisingly, it may also make you feel more confident when you speak. Smiling should also be used throughout your speech when you wish to create a happier mood, make a key point and create a momentary connection with your audience that feels quite personal. 

Practice smiling during your speech in front of a mirror to see how it looks at key points during your speech. After some practice, you will get a feel of when a smile is appropriate.

Using Gestures Correctly

Pleasure, paid, sincerity, sarcasm - every feeling can be detected by your audience through your body language. This includes hands and legs as well as facial expressions. Generally, gestures are used to express size, weight, shape, direction and location, and hand gestures can be used to add emphasis and point out an action.

 

Each gesture you use must be expressed in such a way that it is clear to the audience. But, keep them deliberate so that the points don’t seem exaggerated. Keep a general rule in mind - a gesture is good when it helps the audience to understand the speech without drawing the attention on the gestures only. Focusing mostly on gestures is good for stand up comedy, but not good when you are delivering a speech.

Keep in mind that if you are speaking using a podium, only your face and arms will be visible to the audience. In this instance, it may be best to stay away from whole-body movements.

Examples

Smiling

  • A big smile throughout "it's great to have you all here!"

  • A smaller smile at the end of "right, it's time to get a little serious" to ease the transition into a serious part of the speech

  • A smile at the end of a joke while the audience are laughing to show that are connected with them

  • A smile throughout, "and I can't wait to see John on the dance floor tonight, as I know John really loves to dance" to show sarcasm

Basic gestures

  • When you are telling someone that “it's over there”, you can dramatically point out in the direction using your finger, hand or head

  • To show urgency and importance, clench your fist or hit an open palm to punctuate your point

  • For comparison and contrast, you can use the movements of hands. For similarity, bring the hands together in the same direction or bring them close. For differentiation, draw your hands away from each other.

Facial expressions

  • Raising your eyebrows to emphasise surprise

  • ​Grimacing when describing a struggle or experiencing pain

  • Smiling when speaking to emphasise a happy point or story, or a brief smile during a serious note to lighten the mood

Emphasising stories

  • Leaning back and looking up to emphasise the height of a roller coaster you were looking at

  • Walking to two different spots on the stage to illustrate contrast when talking about two different points

  • Casting a fishing rod and drawing the line back to demonstrate fishing

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