No one can hold audiences spell bound without giving due attention to how he uses his body to communicate. It is proved beyond doubt that the way one uses one’s body to communicate can enhance the appeal of any message.
A raised arm, a sweeping movement, a bow, a playful raise of the eyebrows, a shrug of the shoulder, a pointed finger, a swift cut through the air, a bending forward while asking a question and then pause; all these are examples of powerful use of the body to emphasize, underline, and highlight what you say.
The power of a look has to be experienced to be believed. Your eyes can express a variety of emotions like love, anger, joy, playfulness and so on. More importantly it is your first connect with audiences. So use your eyes to maintain eye contact with the audience. If it is a small group you can look at each individual once in a while. If it is a larger gathering, you will feel comfortable looking at one or two individuals in each segment of the large gathering whenever you turn in that direction.
This is your second connect with audiences. A smile can not only open the ears of people but also their hearts as well. It makes it easy for the audience to identify with you and also open up a dialogue with you. Sometimes you can get tensed during your presentation that you forget to smile. So remind yourself once in a while to smile.
I have seen many people lean on the lectern. This is not good. An erect posture not only communicates a sense of leadership and purpose; it also helps you to breathe normally. That helps in your voice production as well. And most people make the mistake of keeping their two feet together while they speak. This makes them look like a robot. Such a stance gives little room for spontaneous movement. Creativity is stifled.
Some people would like to hold on to the microphone or the lectern. It gives them a sense of security. Nothing wrong about it. At the same time one should know how not to deal with the arms on stage. Crossed arms will distance you from the audience quite easily. Arms flying around will distract. Palms up are very weak. Any move of the hand to face is a signal to the audience that you are not at your confident best. So be bold in stretching out your arm and use gestures that will support, highlight, illustrate and make plain your content.
Formal occasions might not give you a chance to move around. But many speech situations will give you the possibility of moving on stage. Do not stay behind the lectern always. Why not step out to make a point and move back? If there is no lectern and you are holding a mike in your hand, gracefully walk into the midst of your audience to ask a question or to interact with them. Such moves are welcomed by the audience and will help them to connect with you in a deeper way.
A Speech Is Not Just About Words
To conclude, a speech is not just about words. Though content is important; you the speaker through whom the message is delivered is also equally important. So make sure that you are able to impact the audience through the way you use your body to communicate!