I had an interesting experience recently when I had new photos taken. One of the shots showed my shoulders drawn in – not back and straight. Whether I had liked the smile on my face or not was irrelevant, because the position of my shoulders did not speak of confidence which is something I teach in my own business.
I once had a client who had a very wimpy-sounding voice. Upon meeting this man and shaking his hand, I knew that his voice was a lie because his handshake was firm, his posture was straight and his head was held high. He exuded confidence. Admittedly, before meeting him and speaking to him over the phone, I had assumed that he was insecure. His handshake and his posture told me something different however.
Your body speaks for you just as your voice does. If you stand perfectly still while giving a presentation, for example, it is telling your audience that you are scared to death. Standing rigid does not give the impression that you are confident as a speaker. (Of course you should be nervous when you deliver a speech or presentation, but ideally you don’t want your body telling the audience that you are dying a thousand deaths.)
Have you ever considered what your posture is saying? When you walk, are your shoulders and head slumped down or drooping? If you can easily see your feet when you walk and not what lies ahead of you, then your body is screaming uncomfortable. Even if you feel secure, the posture of your head and body is saying something else. What this means is that the image you are projecting is not one of confidence but indeed the lack of it.
Whether you are standing at the head of the boardroom table or at the lectern, if your posture is straight and tall, others will be more likely to believe in your abilities. And, if you are sitting for a teleconference, your ‘listeners’ will be watching the position of your body. You don’t even have to speak for the judgment to be made.
If you are not sure what your body is saying about you, video-record yourself at various times and study your posture. Watch how you sit and stand when you are speaking. At first you may be self-conscious about the camera, but after a minute or two, you will forget it is on.
Your video camera is one of the best tools you have for improving your posture and your stance. Practice sitting straight, standing straight and tall, and walking with your held high at various times throughout your. You will notice the difference in not only how others perceive you
The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to see a dramatic ‘before & after’ clip, visit Voice Training Website and check out Craig’s video.