It is very common that before you begin a speech, that you might display a nervous energy; an energy you do not want to transpose onto the audience, yet you cannot help but pace back and forth as you go through your speech. We have all tried picturing everyone in their underwear, taking a few deep breaths, and even trying to sit still before a presentation, but we still find our energy pouring out of us as we continue to pace.
While pacing, walking, and twitching before a presentation is easy to let the nervous and negative energy flow, pacing and releasing negative energy during a presentation can actually have a negative impact on the point you are trying to make in the speech itself.
There are ways to harness your energy to create movement in your presentation to elevate your speech instead of take away from it.
- Remember that movement is great during a speech, but rhythmic movement can create a speech that lacks character. How many times can you watch a pendulum swing back and forth before you get bored? Have you tried watching a second hand on a clock? If these things don’t hold your attention for long, watching someone walk back and forth across a stage won’t stimulate you either. Instead, try to move to a new position as you change your topic, want to make a point, or even want to connect with the audience. Think of other ways to move instead of just side to side, you can walk forwards and backwards, jump and even bend down on your knees to reach their level or get their attention.
- When you use your voice as a tool to make a point, you can use your body in the same manner. Abrupt movement is ideal when making a specific point. Just like in speech where you can increase your voice, say a harsh or different word, or even speak softly, you can use your movement to create the same point. If you are walking and you suddenly stop, or if you take a second to jump up and down, you will create attention and be able to get a point across.
- Lastly, think of using movement to satisfy and qualify what you’re saying. For example if you are talking about the future and you declare, “Are you with me?” you can walk forward with your fist in the air to signify change and people backing you. If you want to make a heartfelt closing, you can crouch down and use a softer voice to create a connection with the audience.
Mostly, we recommend you feeling like you can release the nervousness of the energy, but maintain the energy itself. Feel that you can share the energy in a form of excitement with your audience, even in board and employee presentations! Your staff and managers will feel this energy and react positively to the message you are trying to convey.