Infographic: Nonverbal communication tips for speakers

This infographic explains what to do before and during a speech to ensure that you feel confident, speak clearly and keep your audience interested.

Most people feel nervous about public speaking.

When we feel nervous, it’s easy to lose track of what our bodies are doing.

We speak faster, make distracting hand gestures and fail to make eye contact with audience members. We give a forgettable (or so bad it was memorable) performance, but we have no idea what we looked like.

An infographic from Dr. Dustin York, a nonverbal communication researcher and assistant professor at Maryville University, and Piktochart can help.

It lists nonverbal tips speakers can use before and during their talks to make sure they’re focused and engaging. Here are a few:

Before the speech:

Strike a power pose, such as standing with your hands on your hips, for two minutes before you give your speech. It will give you confidence.

Know your tics. If you tend to sway when you speak, stand with one foot in front of the other. It will help you stand still.

During the speech:

Move around. People’s eyes focus on motion. To keep people engaged, walk about the room while you speak.

Vary your voice. Think of your speech like a rollercoaster. Slow your speech down or speed it up depending on whether you want to build anticipation or drive home a point.

See more tips in the infographic:


This article first appeared on Ragan.com in March 2015.

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