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Match body language to messages

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Actions speak louder than words, even in public speaking. Research shows that nonverbal communication is key to maintaining an audience’s interest and gaining people’s trust.

Don’t let your body language betray your message—even when you are nervous or intimidated. Follow these tips to use your body to back up your words:

  • Move. If you are rigid, you will look tense. Allow yourself to move in ways that naturally fit your message. Use your body to create emphasis and sincerity by using movements that are fluid, not jerky and stiff.
  • Watch your face. Match your expressions to the occasion. For example, if you plaster a smile on your face during a serious discussion, you’ll come across as fake. Don’t forget to make eye contact with several people, rather than staring at just one or two people who are right in front of you.
  • Use the stage. Walk around so that everyone in your audience can see you. And move from one spot to another when you transition to a different topic.

— Adapted from “Gestures: Get Moving!” Toastmasters International staff, www.toastmasters.com.

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