You can blow your budget to learn all about body language, or you can read on and save your money.

Nothing excites presenters more than the opportunity to learn about body language. Body language has been relegated to the realm of almost mystical knowledge, and anyone who seems to know anything about it generally avoids disclosing too much, creating the impression that this realm of knowledge and understanding is full of secrets and promises an unfair advantage.

Most of our interest in body language has to do with *reading other people*, and we are under the illusion that we are not already highly skilled body language interpreters who have been interpreting body language before we learned language.

Why then is body language such a big theme cloaked in a mystical aura?

The reality is our ability to read others is already acquired in childhood. This fundamental level of ‘eq’ is critical to our survival and ability to communicate our needs and make valid judgments.

So, do you need to go on a body language course? Will learning the meaning of gestures enable you to read other people’s minds? The honest truth is no. Even the world’s best in the field admit that body language is inconsistent and that there is no single gesture that is indicative of a lie or a specific emotion. Far too often, we hear ‘folded arms indicate defensiveness,’ whereas most of the time, a person standing with folded arms is either cold or self-soothing!

What do presenters really need to learn about body language?

As presenters, our issues have to do with our own blind spots regarding how we are presenting ourselves, which are mostly rooted in our speech anxiety. Speech anxiety also reduces our ability to read our audience, as the more focused we are upon ourselves, the less able we are to focus on them.

How do you show up?

People feel what you are feeling. Most of the time when a presenter is standing in front of a group of people, they’re not feeling that warm fuzzy feeling. They’re future projecting and forgetting their passion for their topic and content. They’re overly focused on thinking about what they have to say and worrying about what people are thinking as they say it. This is what is seen and perceived, revealed as symptomatic displays of movements and postures that reveal your lack of confidence or can trigger defensiveness due to our unconscious coping mechanisms. Lack of mindfulness as to how we are showing up also results in bad habits forming over time, which can be perceived as arrogance or a lack of authenticity; both of these are huge causes for your audience to disconnect.

This is ongoing work as your presentation style evolves and changes. We often need the assistance of a neutral skilled guide to help us identify how we can show up in a more authentic way and deploy tools to overcome our anxiety and connect with our audience. By kickstarting your journey with personalised coaching and feedback to equip you to find the comfort and confidence to access your authentic voice and awareness to refine your personal style, you can show up as the person you truly are and build meaningful relationships with your audiences.

Contact us for true empowerment.

Read more about the impact of body language on presentation style here.

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