The Power of The Body in Public Speaking


The “Power Of 3” refers to the body, the mind and the soul, our three key systems at work in the human being that impact how we communicate. Here is the first in a three part blog series about how the Power of 3 are essential in working together when presenting a message to an audience so that they get the full impact of what you’re speaking about.

The first power is the body. Here are a four things to consider in using your hands, movement, eyes and voice to engage and get attention your audiences attention.

1) We’ve all seen presenters with their hands flying around constantly while he/she is speaking. After a while, the audience focusses on the hands and almost stops listening to what is being said. The hands become “background noise”! We should be using our hands to gesture, visualize, describe and emphasize. After you make your broad gesture, the hands need to be put away on your hips, in a pocket, behind your back, or clasped, so that they rest to give the audience time to grasp what you’re saying, before making the next gesture.

2) Your movement needs to be purposeful. Move for a reason, then anchor yourself there for a while before moving again. Otherwise, the movements come across as dancing, pacing, rocking and may be another distraction for the audience. A good rule of thumb is to begin speaking front and center, then purposely move around the room. When you’re at the end of the speech, come back to front and center to end your remarks.

3) We all trust the person who, “looks us in the eye when they talk to us”. Yet, we’ve all seen the individual who has fleeting or shifty eyes. We even tell our kids to, “look at me when I’m speaking to you”. The listener gets a feeling of being spoken with, rather than at. Being spoken with helps with establishing the rapport with the audience. You, the speaker, get to read their reaction to see if they’re engaged, tired or quizzical. Make sure you try and make eye contact with all in the room. Think of the eye contact as “visits” with each person.

4) “Bueller…..anyone?”. Who can forget the student drooling in the back of the room during this famous movie scene?! The voice needs to be modulated. Modulation just means change. People pay attention to change. If you speak quickly, a good pause or slowing down will get their attention. Try to control and change up your voice from speaking loudly to softer, change your pitch, range, volume and speed, all make a difference in keeping people interested interested and engaged.

Using your body, including your hands, movement, eyes and voice can make you an Impact Speaker, and get you the attention, engagement and results you desire from your audience!

Coming up next, the second power of three: The Mind!

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