It has been proven that you can influence the behavior, reactions and emotional response of an audience through body language. Audiences tend to react subtly and sometimes unconsciously to how the speaker is behaving while on stage. Incorporating body movements is considered a key part of effective communication. This article will discuss some of the body language cues that you can use to win influence over a target audience when public speaking.
Smile When Speaking To Your Audience
Smiling can make you look more relatable to an audience. When speaking before a group of people, you should start your talk with a genuine smile. This usually makes you seem more approachable and it can make listeners more attentive.
Even if you are in a bad mood when giving a talk, do not try to give a fake or plastic smile. Most people can spot a genuine smile. A fake smile can be misconstrued as a lack of interest or tensions by the audience.
Move Around As You Are Speaking
It is very easy for most people to get distracted when a talk is being given. Moving around usually shows that you are ready to interact with the audience. This can make the audience pay more attention to what you are saying as they do not want to be caught off-guard.
If you do not move around when giving a talk, you can be mistaken for a rigid speaker by the audience. Most audiences are often bored by rigid speakers and they can drift off making your message less effective.
Use Facial Expressions
When giving a talk, you should try to ensure that you match your speech with corresponding facial expressions. For example, if you are talking about an issue that elicits the emotion of anger, your face should also be displaying anger.
Conveying emotions through facial expression can make the audience follow what you are saying better. Further, the message that you are passing will also be subconsciously imprinted in their minds.
If you want the audience to agree with you on certain points, you should accompany the point with a nod. If you give a nod when making a speech, the audience will subconsciously feel the urge to do the same.
Nodding means that the audience agrees with the point that you are making. By nudging the audience to agree with what you are saying, you are subconsciously influencing their opinion to match with yours.
Ensure That There Is Eye Contact
When giving a talk, you should ensure that you try to catch the eye of as many people as possible in the audience. By looking directly at people when giving a talk, you are usually conveying an interest in them. Remember that people are often flattered on receiving attention from a speaker. If the audience sees that you are interested in them and what they may be thinking, they are more likely to be swayed to your point of view.
When giving a talk, you should avoid staring at one place or person. This can make the rest of the people feel left out. To make yourself more relatable and approachable, you should also consider leaning in towards the audience.
When speaking to a group of people, you can use gestures to make the audience feel as if they are part of the presentation. However, do not use gestures that are too dramatic. With too much dramatization, you can end up looking comical and the audience may fail to take you seriously.
If you are seeking to cut a dominant and aggressive power figure when giving a talk, you should give the talk while standing in a power position. Ideally, you should stand straight with your feet fairly apart and occasionally put your hands on your hips. Body language can help you influence a group of people during a talk. Always remember that what the audience perceives is what they take home.