What sort of image
do you want to project when you are
Who does the audience see? How will
they remember you after this
presentation? Are you professional,
poised, articulate? Are you warm,
folksy, creative, nurturing? Maybe you
want to be seen as ballistic,
confronting, no-nonsense, boot camp
material. This is what the
audience will remember of you and this
image must work to add power to the
impact of your presentation, not
undermine it. Image and message must
may be trying to achieve, donít let the
impact you create with your image be an
accident. In this article, we look at
how to make body language work
towards creating that image.
The first step is
to articulate the image you want to
project before you start. This is
vital, and I have covered it in another
article. Everything the audience sees
needs to reinforce that image Ė clothes,
facial expression, stance and gesture.
At its most basic this means projecting
confidence and sincerity. Unless you
decide otherwise, the audience needs to
know that you are comfortable with your
message and believe in it.
If you are also
using this presentation to showcase
yourself as the face of your business,
or as a candidate for a position, then
take that into account as well. You need
to be seen as trustworthy, competent, at
ease with your material.
confidence begins way before you stand
up to speak. If you need more
information about techniques to overcome
nerves, visit my web pages on the
subject or you can enrol in my free
Minicourse on overcoming nerves.
When you do stand,
then, there is confidence in your walk
and in your stance. Your head would be
up and your back straight.
A smile conveys
Standing with feet
firmly flat on the floor is a good way
comfortable and relaxed.
A person who is
confident and sincere has open body
language. Keep your arms from crossing
your body and donít cross your legs.
Nonchalance has its place but slouching
does not, if you want to project
Making eye contact
with the audience is also vital in
projecting confidence and sincerity.
Looking people in the eye in any form of
face to face contact means you are not
afraid of being caught out. You are not
lying or deceiving. So use it as much
as you can in your public speaking.
Gestures need to be
relaxed not forced.
Think about your
clothes and how they will contribute to
your image. Generally, it is best to
dress a level above your audience.
Colour will contribute to your image.
Blue will support sincerity. And
depending on the situation and your
audience, red will communicate energy
and passion, grey -
security, reliability, intelligence;
orange - warmth, energy, balance. You
can research this further, but the main
point is to be aware of colour and what
it is communicating about you.
Beyond all of that,
though, you need to be comfortable. Try
the clothes on beforehand and make sure
they will support what you need to do.
Stilettos may be inappropriate if you
are presenting on a stage with cracks
between floor boards, for example. If
you are presenting outside, make sure
your tie or scarf will not flap in the
breeze. If you are wearing a jacket,
make sure it allows any grandiose
gestures or reaching for a high spot on
a white board.
you must work with your message to
convey the image that you have chosen.