As you may or may not already know (and if you don’t you must be new to this blog, so welcome!!), speaking is a pretty important aspect of my life.
I enjoy speaking up on stage, AND I enjoy teaching others how to speak with confidence. Public speaking is potentially the most powerful tool we have as people who want to make a difference on the world.
But it isn’t the only tool we have.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the importance behind listening, and how it’s directly linked to speaking. If you missed it, you can read about it here.
And whilst our voice and ears are important when delivering a speech, did you know that pretty much the rest of your body is as well?
Now I’m sure you know the meaning behind body language. It tells us a lot about someone, right?
If you’re with someone who’s standing as stiff as a board, keeping their arms to themselves, then they’re probably very shy or have a problem with social interactions. Or maybe you’re with someone who seems like the complete opposite, they’re all touchy-feely. They’re probably very close to you, and/or just like you a lot.
But understanding a complete stranger’s body language is much more difficult. And, as of recent times, it’s become even more difficult.
The 7-38-55 Rule
Have you ever heard of it? If not, the 7-38-55 - discovered by behavioural psychologist Dr. Albert Mehrabian – indicates that only 7% of all communication is done verbally – meaning what actually comes out of our mouths! The rest is covered by nonverbal communication aspects – 38% is based around our tone of voice, and the remaining 55% is covered by body language.
So – long story short, our body language gives away the majority of our thoughts and our attitude towards what we’re talking about. If your body language differs to how you speak, it can cause viewers to not believe what you’re saying.
For example, if someone’s saying ‘I’m fine’ but they’re saying it sharply, and keeping their body away from you, maybe folding their arms, then you’d surely be able to tell that no, they’re not really ‘fine’, right?
Because of this, it’s very important to keep your body language in mind when it comes to speaking.
How relevant is it today?
One piece of advice I often give to new clients who are starting their public speaking journey is to try it out virtually first. Maybe on a Facebook live, or a Zoom call. For some people, it can seem a lot less daunting than going straight to a real life stage!
But one thing to keep in mind about this is that it essentially makes the 7-38-55 even more important.
Being online can make it more difficult to have a ‘presence’ in front of your audience. If you’re on a screen, it can be pretty easy for other people to get distracted. There can also be Internet issues involved, which can interrupt your camera or audio, and – let’s be honest – seeing someone virtually is never as powerful as seeing someone in real life.
It’s why it’s less daunting, but also why it’s more challenging at the same time.
And since the global pandemic, it’s become even more challenging now that more workplaces have moved to working from home situations, meaning that most bosses and colleagues only interact from behind a screen.
When you’re face-to-face with somebody, there’s something about their ability to feel your energy that makes it easier than doing the same thing virtually.
It’s a bit like when we had to wear the masks, it was more difficult to connect with people without them being able to see our facial expressions.
So with this in mind, working on nonverbal communication is well worth the effort.
How to communicate well nonverbally
If you’re working from behind a screen, there are a few simple ways to make yourself look and feel more authentic.
Dress well to look presentable, make sure you look into the camera as that’s where eye contact is made. Mute any background noise if someone else is talking.
But what about in real life?
Some of these tips work just as well.
Eye contact is a MUST. If you’re speaking to an audience, you should be facing them all, rather than looking away at a PowerPoint or a piece of paper the whole time. It’s important to be authentic and look your best, so that you are more confident!
Confidence is key after all, and another way to convey that is through a good power pose!
Stand up straight with your shoulders back, feet hip width apart, and keep your hands in the middle of your body ready for any hand gestures to be made. Not only will this make you LOOK more confident, but it will make you FEEL more confident as well!
And of course, be YOU. Putting on a fake voice, for example, will be extremely obvious to your audience, no matter how good you think it sounds.
People love authenticity, and it will make them much more likely to come and speak to you after. And that’s what you want!
Well delivered communication doesn’t happen overnight, it takes training and lots of practice. But if it’s something you want to pursue and improve, then I can help you.
If you’d like to hear more tips surrounding public speaking, or if you’re looking into becoming a great speaker for yourself, then join our new Facebook group: Female Public Speaking Tips!
PS – The genetic blueprint really helps with understanding who you are and what you are here to do – fill in this 2-minute questionnaire and I will send you your own ‘genetic blueprint’ which will help you understand yourself so you can begin to find your why! You will find it here.
PPS – If the link doesn’t work for any reason (sometimes technology has a bad day) then email me on email@example.com and I will sort it out for you!
PPS – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘Are You Stuck in a ‘Funk?’‘
“I’m on a global mission to help 10 million disheartened souls, who are at a crossroads, to STOP asking why me? And START saying why not me!”