Another blog for the Random Thoughts Series. For today’s blog I will be talking about analyzing presentation body language. If you’re more of a visual learner, you can check out the video at the bottom of this post.

I had to give a presentation for class about a month ago and I figured, why not do my presentation on body language? I was very nervous and very excited at the same time. Presentation speaking tends to get most people on edge, so I decided before doing my presentation that I wasn’t going to try to consciously control my body gestures, rather let them flow freely. I used many gestures when speaking and to my surprise it gave me an enormous amount of confidence. Amy Cuddy believes that using confident gestures actually affects testosterone levels, which means submissive signals negatively affect testosterone levels.  I tried to avoid arrogant gestures and went with gestures that were pushing my points in an assertive way.

Presentations are a great time to read others to get an idea of who seems comfortable and who seems very uncomfortable. When you get a mental picture of what a nervous person looks like, you can read others outside of presentations better. Some things to watch for when reading non verbal communication during a presentation would be:

  • What tone is this person using? Is it up and down or jerky tone?
  • Feet Position
  • Hand Gestures
  • Are they desperately trying to use barriers? Barriers include keyboard, computer or table.

Now you have more of an impression of what a nervous person tends to display compared to a confident person.

Non Verbal Noob Tip

When presenting, try to focus on the people who seem to be enjoying your presentation. I focused on the people who were laughing or showing interest through body language, whether it seems intentional or not. I used the energy from those people to boost my confidence. Some body language that would show interest in your presentation would be: open gestures, smiles, leaning forward, or rubbing the chin.

For Visual Learners Only!

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