As you can imagine, I’ve seen all kinds of body poses in my students’ and clients’ presentations. You never really think about how to stand, normally, until it’s time to speak in front of a group. All of a sudden you can feel awkward.
First, a list of things I see that don’t work too well:
– Slumping onto the podium — I see this surprisingly frequently among people who know better.
– Standing with the legs crossed — looks like she needs a bathroom break really urgently.
– Back to the audience, staring at the visual aid. Hard to believe, but this really happens.
– Playing with coins in pocket, or playing with your hair.
– Standing with arms crossed — gives the impression that you’re being defensive.
So, what to do? Think about being athletic.
Imagine you’re on the tennis court, or in a boxing ring — your body is relaxed, and you’re ready to move. Your feet should be a bit apart, right under your shoulders. You can move a bit from side to side, or toward your audience.
Keep your hands above your waist. You can put your fingertips together, as if in prayer, or not. Feel free to move your hands and stay relaxed about it.
Remember to breathe in deeply, get into an athletic position, and enjoy making connection with your audience.