Your posture should convey confidence, poise, and credibility. A posture that suggests you are a thought-leader. In order to do this, you may do the following:

  1. Your shoulders should be slightly back.
  2. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your feet.
  3. Your legs should be no further apart than your shoulder width.
  4. Your hands should be either at your side, at your waist, or one hand at your waist one at your side.
  5. Make sure your shoulders are not stiff and square.
  6. Don’t turtle your head forward.
  7. Don’t stare or blink excessively.
  8. Do not lean on the podium.

Record yourself presenting so you can see if your body language conveys poise and confidence by looking relaxed yet powerful.

On the other hand, you may also use the principles of body language to determine your audience’s reception of your presentation. The following may be used as a guide:

  1. Hand on Cheek – show evaluation and genuine interest.
  2. Chin Stroking – is the person gathering his thoughts or making a decision in his mind. Don’t interrupt!
  3. Seated Readiness – shows excitement and agreement.
  4. Head Tilt – shows interest.
  5. Dilated Pupils – the one telltale sign that a person can never control. When you are interested in something your pupils will dilate up to four times their size which shows excitement and interest.

There are many other clues that you can get by reading the audience’s body language and interpreting their tone of voice.

  • If your audience is pulled away from you with crossed arms, pursed lips, and glaring eyes, they’re telling you that they don’t like what they’re hearing or that they don’t want to be there.
  • If your audience is leaning forward but firmly planted in the chair, they are letting you know they’re eager to hear what you have to say. If they are leaning forward but slightly moving, they are telling you they are eager to leave.
  • If the audience is hostile to what you are saying, you will hear it in their clipped tone of voice and raised volume. If they’re confused about what you are saying they will have an upward lilt to their voice, with hesitancy and pauses in their questions.

See real-life examples of these and more body language signs by picking up Anne Warfield’s DVD Communicating More Effectively: How to Read What a Person is Thinking But Not Saying! Order Your Copy Today.