One way to communicate your message is through body language and gesture while you speak. In this excerpt from a workshop for teens about public speaking, I share some tips on how to do just that. To review: Keep your hands out of your pockets Use interesting, non-traditional […]
By Featured Speaker Nancy Daniels
One of the requirements for dynamic speaking, whether it is at the lectern or just in normal conversation, is to be expressive when you talk. This is known as color and refers to your vocal variety, facial expression, and body language. All three elements work hand-in-hand to make your delivery more interesting.
There are some who are colorful in conversation but freeze at the lectern. All color drains from both their face and their voice as they hastily spit out a pile of words, hoping to get the ordeal over with as soon as possible. And, there are others who lack color in speaking whether they are addressing an audience or just talking to a friend or family member.
Why is color so important? Because without it, you are boring. It is difficult enough to keep your listeners’ attention. Our ability to focus for any great length of time has decreased considerably. With the overwhelming amount of visual and aural stimuli with which we are constantly bombarded, this should come as no surprise. Did you know that the amount of time spent on a website page is less than 40 seconds?
1. Use simple, easy to understand visuals.
Visuals often help make a concept clearer than mere words can. This is especially true of difficult to understand and/or visualize scientific or technical information.
2. Use clear and natural body language.
Often, if you can “show what you mean” via body language — hand gestures, body stance — it can make a concept more clear. It is very important, however, that the gestures seem natural and not forced. Also, using body language can put you and your audience at ease. When people are more relaxed, they can convey and understand scientific and technical information more easily.
3. Use easy to hear language, make it more conversational.
Many times words that are perfectly understandable when read, can be misunderstood when heard. Also, a person who is reading can always go back and read an unclear sentence, however, when someone is talking, they can’t go back and listen to the sentence again. This is even more important when you are trying to convey difficult information.