How to Speak with Body Language
“Your actions speak so loudly,
I can not hear what you are saying.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Big Four
The words you speak
How you say the words.
How you look when you say the words.
How you feel when you say the words.
Dr. Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Rule
7% spoken words
38% voice, tone
55% body language
What Not to Do
We’ve also seen speakers who pace back and forth like they’re trying to increase their daily step count. This is sometimes referred to as the “Caged Lion Approach” and is usually the result of a speaker who is all amped up because of nerves and this repetitive action can be very distracting. Once again, the audience will begin to disengage. It’s not just movement we’re looking for here, it’s moving with meaning, moving with purpose.
How to Move with Purpose
Different points on the stage can also signify different times when telling a story, a visual timeline so to speak which can go something like this:
“First, this happened” (move to the left).
“Then, this happened” (move further to the left).
“And, finally, this happened” (move further to the left).
“I wish I had known how it would all turn out when I began this journey” (said while moving back to the first position).
Watch how other good speakers move and experiment with various techniques. The point is to move with purpose and not just meander around. Everything communicates.
Body Language and Movement Online
What to do with my Hands
Don’t Forget Your Face
Speaking Without Sound
Here’s a Great Exercise to Improve the Visual You
Are you moving with purpose or simply meandering around the stage?
Are you pacing back and forth like the caged lion?
Are you making other movements that are distracting?
Are your gestures natural or forced?
Is your face expressing the emotions that would naturally accompany your content?
Are you using your body language and movement to communicate your message?