What is often overlooked is the use of your feet. That's right. How and where you move is also highly important.
Most speakers who move about on stage do so rather haphazardly. They wander. They stroll back and forth with no apparent strategy.
While movement is usually better than standing stiffly behind a lecturn, random movement is of little value. In fact, it robs the speaker of some key opportunities.
Next time you're preparing to speak, consider these three movements:
Stand still for an extended period of time or limit your movement to side to side as you speak. Then, at a moment where you want to emphasize a key point, pause briefly and step forward two or three steps (assuming there's room). This brings you closer to the audience and conveys you have a desire to emphasize what you're about to say.
Stepping to the side
Stand still for an extended period of time as you speak with the focus in front of you. Then, at the moment you want to emphasize a key point, take 3 to 4 steps to one side so that you're focusing all of your attention to that side of the room.
Those people are suddenly getting all of your attention and can't help but pay attention. Everyone else notices the change of focus, as well. Of course, later in the speech, do the same thing to the other side of the room.
I haven't seen too many speakers do this, and I have to confess I have never tried it. But, it can work very well if you're on a platform high enough for everyone to see.
Stand or pace as your normally would while speaking. Then, to dramatize your point, step forward and kneel on one knee. This conveys to the audience not only that you have important information to convey but that you're about to disclose something close and personal.
This shouldn't be a quick gesture. Linger on one knee while you tell a story or make a point. Then, pop back up and continue your presentation.
These are three ways to create variety and keep the audience more involved with what you have to say. Experiment with them ahead of time so you're comfortable trying them out.
How about you? Is there a certain gesture that works well for you?
wesbleed.com | @wesbleed