Saturday, April 4, 2015

Comm 3: Posture

How Not To Do It
  1. The Pendulum - swaying from side to side is poor speech posture because it communicates that you are also swaying back and forth between ideas in your mind.
  2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa - leaning to one side is poor speech posture because it is too relaxed, and makes the audience feel that you aren’t serious about your speech.
  3. The Stargazer - Looking up the ceiling while a speech is poor eye contact because it shows that you aren’t well prepared and don’t know what to say.
  4. The Surfer - Moving your shoulders and upper body around as you speak is poor speech posture. It makes the audience feel that you are not calm and confident about your message.
  5. The Hula Dancer - swinging your hips back and for and from side to side is poor speech posture because it shows that you are nervous and not comfortable with your message.
  6. Washing Your Hands - rubbing your hands together as if you were washing them or playing with something in your hands is poor speech posture because it shows that you are nervous.
  7. The Birdwatcher - looking out the window or staring at the back of the room is poor eye contact for a speech because it makes the audience feel that you are not interested in them.
  8. The Soldier - standing stiffly at attention with your feet together and your hands at your sides is poor speech posture because it makes you look nervous and uncomfortable in your role as speaker.
Making a good first impression is important. Even before you say your first word, your posture and eye contact should show the audience that you are calm, well-prepared, confident and ready. If you begin with good posture and good eye contact, it will be easy for you to maintain a positive body language throughout your speech.

Posture and Eye Contact Checklist

  1. Set your feet. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Balance your weight evenly on both feet. This posture is stable and shows self-control and confidence. This is a firm foundation to build a speech upon.
  2. Set your hands. Hold your hands together keep them about waist high in front of you. This posture focuses attention on your upper body and face and is an easy position to gesture from.
  3. Eye contact. Look at your audience for three seconds before you begin. Look at several people in the audience.  Communication begins with the audience begins when you make eye contact. The three-second wait lets you collect your thoughts before you begin.
  4. Presentation voice. Take a deep breath. Begin speaking in a voice louder and lower than usual conversation voice. Speaking loudly release nervous energy and speaking in lower voice makes you sound confident.

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