Body Language Essay

Submitted By HarryStephens1
Words: 898
Pages: 4

Body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating. It consists of body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Humans send and interpret such signals almost entirely subconsciously. Body language can be a powerful tool to help you emphasize, illustrate and accentuate the key points of your speech. Statistics show that 90% of a speaker’s communicative effect is non-verbal, this figure comprising vocal variety (30%) and gestures and body language (60%). From these statistics one can see the importance of using appropriate body language. What someone is wearing, how someone makes an entrance, hand gestures, eye contact etc., are all compounds of non-verbal communication, and they play an important part in the kind of impression you wish to make on your audience. Body language may provide clues as to the attitude or state of mind of a person. For example, it may indicate aggression, attentiveness, boredom, relaxed state, pleasure, amusement, and intoxication. Physical expressions like waving, pointing, touching and slouching are all forms of nonverbal communication.
1 Eyes are an important means of contact with the audience as you relay information back and forth. Eyes help express feelings and emotions. If a speaker does not keep their eyes on their audience, they are giving the audience permission to not look at them. Instead, they will start to fidget, and look everywhere else but directly at the speaker. It is important to scan the audience with your eyes while you are speaking to make them feel included. Some speakers have a tendency to focus on just one member of their audience because that person looks grumpy or puzzled; or because the speaker can sense some fidgeting going on and wants that particular audience member to stop, or because the speaker is getting great feedback from that one audience member. This sort of obsessive focus on one single person is a mistake as it can make the rest feel neglected. It is also important to avoid looking over the heads of the audience members, and never look at the ground in front of you or your audience will think you are mad and started talking to yourself. Speakers who refrain from looking at their audience give the impression of being evasive, and will most certainly lose credibility with the audience. It is also important to never look at your watch as this will give the impression that you can’t wait to finish. If a speaker has trouble judging the duration for which they have been speaking, it would be beneficial to invest in a pocket timer that vibrates at pre-set times.
2 Good posture is important if you are a public speaker. Good posture is an indicator of confidence and can give the speaker stage presence. It allows for good breathing, giving the speaker the fuel to move effortlessly without losing their breath. Bad posture will send the wrong message to the audience that the speaker is not confident, or that they are tired and unenthusiastic. Slouched shoulders, leaning over lanterns and a lowered head are some examples of bad speaking posture. There is one particular stance that should become every speaker’s neutral position. The neutral position is the position that all other movements can come from, and the stance that the speaker can return to on a regular basis. Stand straight with your feet above twelve inches apart from each other, and your hands slightly raised, in front of you with your fingertips just touching. From…