Is your body language the Achilles heel of public speaking?

Is your body language the Achilles heel of public speaking?

Body language.

Body language. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are all familiar with the nervous speaker who shuffles from one foot to the other or uses distracting gestures which they’re not even aware of.

An experience speaker uses their movements effectively to emphasise points by synchronising gestures with their speech content.

The most dramatic proof of the mind-body language link I have experienced was a simple NLP ( neuro linguistic programming ) workshop exercise.
The result was that I accurately read somebody’s emotions and memories in about 20 seconds!
I had no prior knowledge of what experience they might be focusing on.

The exercise required 4 people.
Person A, Person B and 2 helpers.
The helpers ensured the physical positions of Person A and Person B were accurately mirrored.

Person A sat in the chair while recalling an intensive past experience. Only they knew what the experience was.

They were then asked to adopt whatever physical position which they felt represented their feelings.

The net result was that person A was slumped backward in the chair and staring at the floor about 2m in front of them.

 I was Person B.

Our two helpers worked together to fine tune the detail so I was exactly mirroring person A.
I was then asked to synchronise my breathing to person A ( by watching the movement of their chest ).
Within about 20 seconds, I had a clear impression of shock and something related to a child or small person being injured.
Person A confirmed – with considerable surprise!- they were recalling an accident when a child was dragged a short distance by a vehicle. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured.

Naturally, This was a very powerful experience for all four of us.

How does this exercise relate to public speaking?

Quite simply, it demonstrates the fact that our body position clearly and accurately gives clues to how we are thinking.

We know body language is important to emphasise what we are saying; this experiment clearly proves that we need to master our body language at a conscious level in order to congruently deliver our message.
If our mind is scared, wandering and unfocused, the message we unconsciously deliver to our audience will reflect those feelings.
Our Achilles heel is exposed.

 Take away from this blog:

  • Master your body language.

  • Master your mind.

  • = Master your message

If you:

  • Want to master your message
  • Feel less vulnerable
  • Want to improve Stage Presence
  • Want to have an awesome handshake
  • Want to be a really cool speaker and impress your audience…

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