Nonverbal Cues to Consider When Delivering a Speech
Be conscious of facial expressions:
- Use them, show emotions.
- Smile if appropriate.
Maintain eye contact:
- Very important!
- Look at the audience.
- If speaking in a large room, mentally divide the audience into segments and try to look at each segment.
- Check your visual aids, but don’t read them word-for-word.
- The upper body: your head, arms, and hands are effective.
- Avoid standing completely still.
- Use natural hand motions.
- Keep the outline on podium; don’t flail your notes around.
Be aware of posture:
- Try to look natural and at ease
- Stand up straight, but not to the point of looking uncomfortable
- Avoid slouching, it looks sloppy
- Don’t shuffle your feet
- Don’t rock back and forth or side to side
Dress to impress:
- Consider the occasion, audience, and image you want to convey.
- Don’t look sloppy.
- Wear something comfortable so you are not tugging at your clothing.
Paraphrased from A Speaker’s Guidebook, O’Hair, et. al.
Prepared by Michelle Hector, Dan Bilodeau, and Laura Siegel