Continuing the 7-part D.E.L.I.V.E.R.Y. tips, here’s part 6, Release energy through movement.
Good speakers move! I’m convinced that animated movement on a sage is necessary to be impressive and engaging and seen as an “expert”. Confident stage presence exudes credibility. I have watched many speakers standing in one spot on the stage, failing to utilize movement which would make them more interesting.
Here are tips for effective stage movement:
BIG Movement. Public speaking requires public-sized movement. Small movements look small and nervous instead of confident and engaging. If you move while standing in one spot, such as shifting weight from foot to foot, you’ll look uncomfortable vs. confident. Instead, when you move, take a big step and intentionally move in a larger way to appear confident, animated and interesting.
Controlled movement. Speaker nervousness is often expressed through accelerated movement. You want to consciously slow your movements so they are careful, intentional and calm, which ironically appears natural.
Upright posture also gives an impression of confidence and authority, so stand up straight, shoulders back and head upwards to look your best.
Podium use and authority: the podium is expert-zone and a speaker can non-verbally use its authority. Consider that the only people standing behind the podium have been pre-approved and invited. The podium is reserved for those who have the permission to be on the stage. The podium is the ultimate authority.
How to use the podium is a topic in itself, so I will cover it separately next time.
Gesturing provides interesting movement during a speech. Advice on gestures is provided extensively in the “D” in DELIVERY article about ‘distractions’. A review of the rules include: don’t gesture excessively, don’t touch yourself, not fingers-only, move big enough, lift to face level, controlled and natural pace, don’t “throw” your gestures, and have variety.
Body Talk! Kinesiologyis the study of body movement. When a speaker moves, the audience re-engages because they have to look again to see what you are doing. Your entire body can be a part of the message. For instance, many comedians use their whole body as part of their message.
Space/stage-use. The stage and the public space all around the podium up-to where the audience is sitting is your public speaking space. How you use your space conveys meaning. To look confident, consider using all of your stage. While doing so, make eye contact and connection with your audience. Don’t move too fast, but step in a slow and confident stride across your stage. Afterwards return to your podium authority.
In conclusion, public speakers can create positive nonverbal perception through the use of the podium, stage and movement. A person who is animated across the stage is more interesting than someone who never moves. A moving and animated speaker keeps the audience’s attention because you are changing something. Animated movement makes speakers appear more confident and engaging.
I look forward to hearing how this content helped you. Feel free to reach out to me with your ideas or accessing my public speaking training.
Michelle Moore Brady is seeking speaking opportunities. See more at www.SageForwardTraining.com or email me at MBrady@SageForward.com.