Non-verbal communication impacts how messages are understood. People draw many assumptions about the meaning of non-verbal communication which often leads to misunderstandings.
In Genards’ article he talks about the importance of non-verbal communication for speakers and presenters, I believe his perspectives are equally as important for anyone in the role of presenting information to others, which includes leaders, supervisors and those involved in selling products or services. He urged readers to ensure they do the following in their presentations:
1. Avoid split focus
2. Ensure a balanced stance and body language
3. Keep your body language open and easily understood (minimize risk for confusing messages and definitely avoid the “fig leaf”)
4. Don’t pace around the stage or room (Genard called this the tiger in the cage movement), instead, move with a sense of purpose.
Check out his article here:
Next time you are in front of a group of colleagues, making a presentation to your board, pitching an idea at staff meeting, or on the stage speaking to an audience, pay special attention to your non-verbal language. Are you conveying the message you want others to remember? Is your verbal communication consistent with your non-verbal language?
Here are few tips to help you improve your non-verbal communication:
- Practice in front of a mirror
- Practice in front of a small audience you trust, and ask for specific feedback. Note: “that was awesome”, “well done”, or “good job” is not clear. Ask them to identify how your non-verbal language helped or hindered your message and why.
- Best tip: video tape yourself…. The camera never lies.