I just finished facilitating a two-day course on presentation techniques, which reminded me that how you SAY something, is truly more important than what you say. For example, you can say “I’m not mad” many different ways, but what it will mean has everything to do with your body language and tone. What if you say it with your arms crossed? What if you say it while looking at the ground? What if you say it in a terse tone? Will someone believe that you aren’t mad? Probably not.
Vision trumps everything. What people see will definitely take precedence over what they hear. As a facilitator, you want to present with pride, power and confidence and your body language can make or break how your participants perceive you and if they will believe you. Here are a few tips on how to use your body language to your advantage:
|Positive Body Language: What to Do||Negative Body Language: What NOT to Do|
|Stand solid with feet hip-width apart. This stance is powerful and allows you to be ready to move in any direction to work the room.||Don’t lean on or grip a podium or chair. This makes you look unsure of yourself.|
|Let hands fall naturally at your sides. This will allow you to use appropriate hand gestures to enhance what you are saying.||Don’t put your hands in your pockets or cross your arms. This makes you appear to be closed off or nervous.|
When using positive body language, you send a message of strength to your brain and you begin to feel more confident! For more information, watch this Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy the author of “Presence”. It’s fascinating! Now go break a leg and then stand on it about hip-width apart from your non-broken leg:
Chris Perillo, Countess of Curriculum and Training
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