The Proper Speaking Stance

Proper Speaking Stance - Speak Well and Sell, Michael Neuendorff, Public Speaking Coach Bay Area

I recently held a public speaking class for students at Skyline Community College. After an hour of instruction I asked them to share with me what one thing they learned that will help them.

It was really interesting to hear many of them say they appreciated knowing how to stand when giving a speech. Perhaps this is information you would like, too.

In the picture above you see a man.  In the photo below you see a meerkat.  Now I ask you:

Which one has the better stance? The man or the meerkat? 

Proper Speaking Stance - Speak Well and Sell, Michael Neuendorff, Public Speaking Coach Bay Area

Most will say the meerkat because they feel it’s better to have your hands out where people can see them.

That’s the right answer though I’ve often wondered if the meerkat’s anatomy would allow any other stance.

Now the man does have good eye contact, but that’s not the point here.

What’s important when speaking is to have a stance that communicates confidence.

Thus, you should either have your arms relaxed and by your side or bent slightly at the elbow with your hands touching just slightly in front of you at your waistline.

Don’t put your hands in your pockets, behind your back, or fold your arms. None of these will achieve the same professional effect. Your feet meanwhile should be about shoulder width apart and pointing just about straight ahead.  Try both arm positions to find the one that’s more comfortable for you and start using it for speeches.

Let me know what you’ve tried that’s worked for you or what blunders you’ve had in the comments below.

If you want to expert help on presenting, check out How to Become A Better Speaker in 90 Days.

By Michael NeuendorffMichael Neuendorff on FacebookMichael Neuendorff on Google+Michael Neuendorff on Twitter Visit author's website

Michael Neuendorff is a versatile coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. He works with businesses and individuals in the areas of online marketing and public speaking. His marketing specialties are social media and email marketing. He’s a HootSuite Professional. He holds an Advertising degree from Arizona State University.

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