Dynamic speakers move and audiences do not. Less than dynamic speakers tend to stand, riveted to one spot which means that their audiences are moving. When that happens, you have lost them.
We tend to think of public speaking as something in which we must stand behind a lectern. If you are delivering a formal speech, then you most likely will use the lectern, although even that does not mean you are locked into one place.
In today’s world of public speaking, however, more often than not, speakers are giving presentations, using note cards or visual aids as their guide. Given this situation, the speaker has enormous freedom on the stage or even at the head of the boardroom table. In fact, there is no rule that says you must remain on the stage. Some speakers actually walk and talk among their audience.
If you are delivering a presentation, part of the dynamics of your delivery is your vocal variety, facial expression and body language. Standing perfectly still in this situation definitely gives the wrong body language. It tells your audience that you are petrified – even if you’re not – because your stance is shouting uncomfortable. When that happens, you make your audience uncomfortable which directly leads to a less than interested audience.
The secret to dynamic speaking is that you, as the speaker, should be treating your audience just as if you were in conversation. Think of the last time you stood and spoke to a perspective client, for example, or a colleague or your boss. Perhaps you had friends over and you were all standing around, talking. As you stood there, did you not switch your weight from one leg to the other, or possibly step backwards at one point or move forward a bit. Even that ever-so-slight movement is what helps relax the body which in turn helps relax your listeners.
Keeping the attention of your audience – keeping their focus on you and not their Ipods – is more difficult today than in the past because we, as a people, have a much shorter attention span. We are being hit by visual and aural stimuli continually from our cell phones alone, which has helped decrease our ability to focus for even 40 minutes. Even a 20-minute sermon in church is difficult for some congregants to follow. This is why it rests upon you, as the speaker, to not only captivate your listeners but keep their minds on your message throughout.
If you are moving, you will be much more successful in this endeavor. It is also a great means of helping you control your nervousness!
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 program on voice improvement. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Voice Dynamic.