PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

In preparation for a workshop, I have been brushing up on the subject of body language.  My main reference has been “The Definitive Book of Body Language” by Allan and Barbara Pease. 

As you would expect, the authors explain how our emotions affect our body language.  But they also cite studies showing that the reverse is true as well: Our body language can affect our emotions.

They use hand gestures as an example.  If you use confident gestures, you will start to experience a feeling of greater confidence.

The implications this phenomenon has for public speaking are significant.

Instead of the typical efforts to hide nervousness by avoiding nervous body language, we can take a stronger, positive approach and consciously use body language that typifies confidence (examples: walking in toward the audience, using open hand gestures, making strong eye contact, etc.).

Consciously creating positive emotions is preferable to trying to control negative emotions.

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