Tip #27: Use good body language

Body language (how you look and move) can either enhance or undermine your message. Good body language will help you appear confident and knowledgeable. Poor body language will interfere with your message and your credibility.

For more effective body language communication, fight the urge to:

  • lean into a stationary microphone (use a lavaliere microphone instead, and remember to turn it off during private moments…)
  • stand poker straight or immobile, or the opposite- rock or sway in place, or pace (yes, Tom Peters paces- and it makes us dizzy!)
  • use a single gesture repeatedly, or use obviously practiced gestures
  • chew gum or suck on candy (we really do notice!)- unless you are using a lozenge to keep from coughing, in which case, explain that
  • lean on or grip the lectern white-knuckled, as if holding on for dear life
  • look at the floor, or close your eyes
  • hide behind the audiovisual equipment, or turn your back to the audience
  • take deep sighs
  • play with your clothing, adjust body parts or undergarments, or lose your undergarments!
  • shuffle your notes unnecessarily, or click your pen or laser pointer on and off
  • crack your knuckles, examine or bite your fingernails, clean your ears, or perform any other body care activity!
  • cross your arms in front of your chest
  • twirl or pat your hair, or play with your jewelry (that includes you, too, guys!)
  • jangle change or keys in your pockets
  • whisper, whimper, mumble, or shout.

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