Monday, March 14, 2011

How you stand, sound and look: 3 insights on public speaking's physicality

Speaking is a physical act, something you do in three dimensions. So it pays to pay attention to how your body works when you're speaking, to know your own habits and options. Here, three insights on your posture, voice and face to help you become a better speaker:

  1. How's your posture?  Lifehacker offers a comprehensive look at posture and gives us one more reason why you shouldn't keep your hands in your pockets when you speak (it leads to slumped shoulders). If you spend way too much time sitting at a desk, you'll want to read this to counteract those bad-for-your-posture sitting sessions when you stand to speak.
  2. Got a frog in your throat? Vocal coach Kate Peters offers suggestions and remedies in one of  her "who let the frogs out?" posts to help speakers with compromised vocal chords.
  3. What's in a face? Plastic surgeon Iain Hutchinson spoke at TED about his work saving the faces of people with severe facial deformities...and in the process of watching this video, you'll learn a lot about how faces and facial expressions move us, change our minds and influence what we think of the person speaking. A warning: Photos in this presentation show facial images that may be disturbing to some. It's a compelling talk that will help you better understand the impact of your own face on an audience.

Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook. Go here to subscribe to Step Up Your Speaking, my free email newsletter that looks at a different speaking topic in depth each month...then become a fan of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook and join the conversation with thousands of other women (and men) about public speaking skills and confidence.