4 body language tips for speakers

Standing at the lectern, you are well aware of your body language. When you’re not the focus, though, audience eyes are still on you, so take care with your demeanor and facial expressions.

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If you watched the Super Bowl, you may have noticed Eli Manning’s marked lack of enthusiasm when his brother Peyton’s team, the Denver Broncos, scored a fourth-quarter touchdown and clinched the victory.

Manning’s gaffe should remind professionals that even when you are not speaking, audience members may be watching, so you should be aware of your facial expressions and overall demeanor.

Here are four specific situations speakers should be consider:

1. When you are being introduced

You are standing off to the side as your presentation is being introduced. Even though you are not at the lectern and speaking yet, audience members will be looking at you.

The moments just before you go on stage to speak can be nerve-racking, and this anxiety can come across in your facial expressions. Make sure you don’t project nervousness; instead, convey confidence by smiling and looking at the speaker or out at the audience as you are being introduced.

2. When you are being asked a question

Speakers often look defensive or stern when they are put on the spot in a Q&A session, job interview or interview with a reporter.

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