Did you know that your face and body talk? What are those two elements of your image saying about you when you deliver a speech or presentation? No matter how great your words, if your facial expression and body language are saying one thing but your voice is saying another, then you are sending a confusing or even possibly the wrong message. |
Part of that which makes for dynamic public speaking is being expressive when you speak. (In truth, being expressive adds value in all manners of conversation.) It is known as color and, without out it, you would be speaking in monotone, your face would be showing no expression, and your body would be perfectly still or rigid. A few minutes of a delivery in this manner would soon put your audience to sleep.
If you have difficulty allowing your face to display the emotion you are feeling, a camcorder can be most beneficial. Only when you see yourself on video will you be able to appreciate what your face is or is not saying. Record yourself as you practice your presentation or speech. Play it back. Was your face speaking as well as your voice?
If you discovered that indeed nary a muscle in your face moved when you spoke, then you need to do some serious work on ‘allowing’ your emotion to be seen. Showing no expression has absolutely no value in life except in poker. If you watch great speakers, you will see that they all use their face to further exemplify what they are saying. If they don’t, they are not great speakers!
Try this exercise. Using a mirror, watch yourself as say the following sentence, smiling as you say it and shaking your head back and forth at the same time. (I suggest doing this alone.)
I don’t know the answer to that.
Now say the sentence again but this time, don’t smile. Again, shake your head back and forth and say those words with a frown. Make your brow furrow.
You should have noticed a difference in between the 1st time you said it and the 2nd. If not, try it again and ‘allow’ your face to feel what you are saying.
If you are unable to display the emotion of a smiling face or that of a questioning expression; if you are unable to show a thoughtful reaction to one that expresses hurt or love or anger or passion, then I suggest you work with someone who can teach you how to let your feelings be seen. It could be one of the best investments you will ever make.
In my next article I will be discussing the value of body language in public speaking.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic or watch Nancy in a brief video as she describes The Power of Your Voice.
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