Are You Also Ruining Your Presentations by Making These Body Language Mistakes?
Want to get your message across effectively, but does it seem like a tough nut to crack? The key is to make sure that the tone of your voice and body language don’t distract from the main message. Utilizing hand movements and facial expressions effectively can empower you to present your ideas constructively and project confidence. Though it might seem overwhelming to have so many things to worry about during your presentation, in reality, with just a couple of changes and consistent practice, your body language can do wonders for you.
Here are fatal body language mistakes that can derail a presentation and should be avoided while expressing yourself:
1. Movement of the Hands — One of the most common mistakes that presenters often commit is using inappropriate hand movements. Touching your face or neck, putting your hands in the pocket, hiding your hands, or fidgeting with the objects can indicate nervousness and signal the audience about your lack of belief in the message that you are delivering. Meek gestures and lack of confidence will give your audience the sense that you are unsure or disinterested in the presentation.
Useful Tip: It is advisable to focus on delivering the message and use calculated hand movements by keeping the arms in front so that the viewers remain attentive and open to the ideas you are discussing.
2. Poor Eye Contact — Not making eye contact with the audience can be a massive sign of unprofessionalism or insecurity. Lost facial expressions or constantly looking at your feet, watch, or the screen will make you appear vulnerable or deceptive at worst, as if you are trying to hide something.
Useful Tip: So, to come across as self-assured and confident, make eye contact with your viewers while making a point. Even if you choose to make it short, it will have an enormous impact on your ability to engage and persuade.
3. Bad Posture — One of the most critical attributes of positive body language while delivering a presentation is good body posture. Rounded shoulders or your neck limping reveal a lot about your self-esteem and confidence. Bad posture will communicate nervousness and uncertainty, which should be avoided at all costs.
Useful Tip: Standing firm, throwing your shoulders back, holding your head up high, and aiming for a neutral position can be evocative of strength and stability to the onlookers.
4. Crossed Arms — Crossing your arms while presenting gives an impression to the audience that there is something that you don’t know and is defensive about. Always consider refraining from crossing your arms or even legs as that will signal unfriendliness and resistance.
Useful Tip: To make your gesture welcoming and engaging, keep your arms open and answer with a smile to sound convincing and confident.
5. Lack of Mobility — Lack of movement or standing in the same spot throughout the presentation can communicate the lack of security or even timidness. To boost confidence, it is necessary to assume a power pose and take up as much territory as possible. Likewise, jiggling your legs while standing will signal your restlessness and discomfort, so practice your movements beforehand.
Useful Tip: Moving around during a presentation will help you invite attention and keep your mind more alert.
6. Forgetting to Smile — Unless you are delivering a piece of sad news, a flat face without a smile can be easily perceived as a lack of passion and interest. Your face says it all, and replacing the anxious look over your face with a friendly expression can make you feel good about the presentation.
Useful Tip: Don’t fake or force a smile because the audience may perceive you as hypocritical or untrustworthy. Instead, a genuine smile would indicate that you are at ease and happy to be there.
7. Speaking Too Fast or Too Slow (or Low) — Speaking too fast or too slow or low can be pretty disastrous for a presentation. In your desire or nervousness to get it wrapped up as soon as possible, you often end up talking too fast, making it impossible for the audience to comprehend your words. Another mistake that the presenters often make is not paying attention to the pitch of their voice, which sometimes is too low that the people can’t hear them and eventually lose interest.
Useful Tip: Voice is one of the most powerful tools for a persuasive and engaging presentation, so practice managing the speed of your speech while practicing the presentation.
The Bottom Line
Body language often has so much to say than we sometimes imagine or comprehend. Take these body language tips on board for your next presentation, and you can keep your viewers hooked right till the credits roll!
Do share your opinion with us in the “Comment” section and let us know which body language blunders can be fatal for a presentation. And if you like the blog post, do share it on your social media handles.