Today I want to talk about how to get rid of distracting body movements. When you're up on stage. Think about what kinds of mannerisms are distracting for you and maybe swaying to and fro in front of the audience. Perhaps hanging on to the podium or lectern, finger tapping I've seen that a few times, licking your lips or biting your lips, fidgeting you know fidgeting with your clothes, your pockets or your jewelry, frowning. People don't often know they are doing this when they're speaking, fussing with hair. I've seen a lot of people particularly when they're nervous, they'd sort of play with their hair and it's very distracting for your audience. bobbing your head and flapping your arms around at inappropriate times. And it certainly is an art for those of you who like to use your hands. Yours truly included. But what I will say is don't try and stop that. If you're someone who uses your hands to talk. Just keep your hands down low because when your hands are up in front of your face, it's taking away from that focus on your mouth moving your face expressions, and that's where your message is going to be best communicated with people looking at your face. So don't hold your hands up in front of your face. Just keep them down low but by all means don't feel you have to stop using your hands. Because you will just come across really stiff and unnatural. Now the movements that you make in your speech should be planned or at least controlled by you. Any movement that is not planned could potentially be distracting and many of the above mentioned mannerisms that I've talked about today. They stem from being really nervous on stage. Let's face it. And additionally, they could also come just because you don't actually realize that you're doing them.
I had a client and you might have heard me talk about this. He didn't realize but he when we talk about disfluencies and distracting things to say on stage and we have those verbal tics, the arms, the Rs. He kept saying in this space after every sentence he would say in this space in this space now I'm not going to mention who he was because actually reduced it or probably almost eliminated that disfluency but he didn't even realize he was saying it. He was throwing that in. And so sometimes when you play yourself, you record yourself and you play it back, that's when you pick up on these disfluencies or similarly, these body movements.
We're talking about in today's episode, if you record yourself, you are going to pick these up and that's why it's so important to record yourself and put yourself through that pain of watching yourself back. It's not going to be fun. I'll just give you that little heads up. But either way you need to minimize and eliminate as many of these distracting body movements as possible. Now I'm going to give you six quick tips on how to do that.
The first one I just talked about is make a video of yourself record yourself. Do you even know that you are making these movements and I would probably take a bit and say for many of you probably not. And if you have a video that's going to help you identify which distracting movements you'll need to work on eliminating.
Number two is review your videotape for places where you make distracting mannerisms so make a list of the mannerisms that you have. And then practice the next time doing your speech without those mannerisms. So what I'm saying is rerecord yourself and just keep reviewing your tapes until you are satisfied that all the mannerisms are gone. Now, as I said, you're not going to love this activity.
Number three, work on feeling comfortable when delivering your speech. You really should feel natural as you speak about your topic. And you should feel like you were just sharing information with maybe say like a longtime friend. And this will come when you've spent many hours practicing and then reworking and then revising your speech. This will also come because you speak from the heart and let others know the way that you feel about your subject.
Number four is work on eliminating nervousness when delivering a speech. This will come as you get more familiar with your speech or your keynote material. It will also come as you take the time to just focus on delivering your message instead of focusing on the feelings of fear and anxiety.
Number five you can also review your videotapes for places in your speech that you need to add volume movements into your presentation. That will just make it a lot more interesting because sometimes people may not realize until they play back these videos, but they are literally just standing there with their arms by their side. And looking very stiff and not very engaging. So sometimes with some of my clients and you may be in this category, you actually need to add some hands in or you need to move around. So you know, let your movements show the way that you feel in that moment. And these movements should be really natural and they really should just pull they can work in your favor as you perhaps emphasize specific points in your presentation.
And then number six and finally consider this when deciding which body movements to incorporate into your presentation your body movements should look natural. So you can use facial expressions and make eye contact for example with somebody in your audience. This takes practice I will warn you I've had clients who have felt more comfortable when they're doing a speech to perhaps peek, like somewhere in the room like a wall or just a random object in a room that they focus on. I don't recommend that just because the audience will kind of catch on to the fact that you're not looking anyone in the eye. Or I mean at the very least if you are going to do it, maybe pick multiple objects or multiple spots that you can cast your eyes across to but as you do more and more public speaking engagements, start practicing making that eye contact. Then for some of you you may feel comfortable if you know someone in the audience looking that person in the eye, but for others you may feel more comfortable looking strangers in the eye. But at the end of the day, every movement should be planned during your presentation. You can easily lose your audience with distracting movements because your audience's focus and attention will be turned to these movements instead of what you have to say.
And at the end of the day. You aren't there to get your message across that to build that know like and trust fact up to inspire, educate, motivate your audience in order to buy from you or to engage your services to buy your course to join your email list. You know you're doing these events too with a purpose and don't let these distracting body movements. get in your way. Good luck.