Public Speaking – How to Stand During a Speech
by Jim Bain
At one time or another we’ve all seen and listened, painfully, to a speech given by a robot, that is a human who resembled a robot. Their body posture was stiff and rigid and if there was a podium, you could see their knuckles turning white from squeezing it so tightly. Most of these speakers were either drafted or forced into giving a speech, but there are actual people who consider themselves pretty good speakers who act in the same manner.
Unless you are in the military, at attention, during a speech from a superior officer or dignitary, people don’t normally act so prim and proper. In fact most kids are yelled at for sloppy and slouched posture than questioned how come their posture is so good and erect.
Now posture is not the question when delivering a speech, but acting normal is relative to being a good speaker. I often watch our politicians stationed in front of a historical building, giving an interview to the media, believe me it’s a speech, and see how stately they all attempt to appear. Every hair is in place, their tie in a perfect knot and shoulders are square and held back, the entire time they’re shuck and jiving their way through a topic.
I’ve often wondered if just once, they appeared in an open collared t-shirt and said they just didn’t know the answers, but were trying to find out, how much more respect they may receive by being more human and normal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying while giving a speech to light up a cigarette or kick your shoes off. There is a certain posture and formal approach which dignifies, not insults, the audience. However, to be a good speaker you must posses credibility and be able to relate to the audience. Too staunch and erect, you lose your relationship to the crowd because you’re too good or above them. Too lax and your credibility suffers and you lose your audience. So just like Little Red Riding Hood, where’s the just right stance while giving a speech?
In delivering a speech the speaker must orchestrate the momentum which raises and lowers the crowds emotional and curiosity levels, which keeps them engaged and intently listening.
You achieve this with your voice, tone and volume, and physical movements, head, arms, shoulders. Possibly the best place in which to give a speech is on an open stage. No props, no tables, no podium, no distractions of any sort, just you and your subject matter. In that situation you pace the stage, pausing at certain intervals to make a point, or to engage the audience in a stare or look. It’s called working the crowd and makes the people feel as though you are talking directly to them, which lends importance to what you have to say.
Use hand gestures, waving your hands and arms if appropriate. It’s rumored Italians couldn’t speak if you tied their hands behind their back, as gestures are part of their speech. I’m not sure that’s correct, but it’s an excellent point. People use gestures when they speak especially if it’s an emotional subject or they’re trying to drive home a point. As a speaker you should apply the same tactics.
Even if you’re trapped in a stationary position, such as behind a podium, it doesn’t mean you can’t move your body parts and vary your speech volume. Preachers do it all the time, every Sunday.
The bottom line I suppose is, don’t stand during a speech, that is don’t stand still. Use your body and voice to deliver a powerful speech, not a monotone drubbing.
About the Author: Jim Bain – Social Right Activist for the UAW, former minor league baseball player dedicated to teaching Baseball to youth. Visit his action & value packed website today. Learn-Youth-Baseball-Coaching.com
Article Source: EzineArticles.com/Jim Bain