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Common Body Language Mistakes That Can Ruin a Presentation

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A person can communicate just by speaking, right? Wrong. They communicate through their bodies more. Most people do not realize it because it is a subconscious type of communication, which is the reason for people not realizing it. Body language is actually a stronger type of communication than verbal because it depicts the real intentions of a person.

It is essential in every part of life and more so while giving a presentation. When giving a presentation, a person presents themselves and their ideas in front of an audience. Most, if not all people have stage fear and when all eyes are on them, they start feeling nervous. Some people might start shaking, sweating and all of it is normal, because a fight or flight response is generated in such situation.

But it is actually easy to improve body language, which make a person more presentable and make them look more confident. It can help to win people’s trust and make the presenter seem more reliable. Some common mistakes presenters make.

  • Lack of Eye Contact: It is a problem that a lot of people have and they feel that there is no solution to overcome this problem. It might affect a person’s personal as well as professional life. Not maintaining eye contact conveys a signal that the person is not genuine or is lying. No person wants to feel that way and it can decrease confidence of a person to an even greater extent. A solution for this is to practice looking at oneself in the mirror. It might seem like a vague practice but it has some real benefits.
  • Movement of Legs:  People have a habit of constantly moving their legs, which can seem like a person is in some kind of hurry and is doing a formality by giving a presentation. That takes away interest of an audience. Another mistake related to legs is that people do not point them towards the audience, but towards some other direction. This also shows that a person is not interested in giving a presentation. Solution for this is to make conscious effort to point feet in the audience’s direction and keep them stable.
  • Staring: Not maintaining eye contact is a bad practice, and so is maintaining it for too long that it makes the audience feel uncomfortable. A person might be perceived as creepy, if they constantly keep doing it. Solution for this is to look at each section of audience for some time and then shift to another section. Anything in life is good only when it is practiced in a natural manner. Afterall, presentation is held to explain about some topics and not about making the audience feel scared of asking questions.
  • Lack of Smile: People feel intimidated when they give a presentation, which is the reason for them not smiling or behaving normally. It is essential to smile when a person maintains eye contact with the audience. It gives a feeling to the audience that a presenter is approachable and appropriate queries could be asked from them. Many people have a habit of overdoing it, which turns that cute smile into a hysterical laughter, which would not look good when a person is standing in front of an audience. It might seem appropriate when the person performs a stand-up comedy skit. Simple solution for this is to keep the focus on the actual topic, because any diversion from it can lead to the awkward laughter.
  • Closed Posture: A lot of people that give presentations for the first time, tend to keep their arms closed, which can be perceived negatively by the audience. It signifies that a person is not interested in hearing another person’s opinion. It takes off the audience’s interest because they see no point in presenting their views and having a healthy debate. Solution for this is to keep arms on the side and use them when a person has to explain about some concept. It adds more credibility to a presenter’s statements.
  • Adjusting Clothes: When do not have anything to hold onto, they hold their clothes and constantly adjust it. It might actually ruin the person’s dressing and they might have to adjust it in front of an audience, which is obviously the last thing that a person wants. It is advisable to tuck in the formal shirt before a presentation and do not worry about it looking good. Primary focus of people at the time of presentation is at the presenter’s body language and their ideas.
  • Standing Still: It is a widespread problem as some people cannot move when they stand in front of an audience. They feel that their body just stops responding and the only option they are left at that time is to stand still. It is also a negative body language and can bore an audience to sleep. To avoid this, consider that the audience is group of friends and would not mind any mistakes made unintentionally.

Some common body mistakes that are made by newbies, which can easily be rectified. To correct them, it is necessary to recognize them and address that there is indeed a problem. Most people never correct their mistakes because they never address them and blame other people to be the cause of their problems.

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