Become an Authentic Speaker

You rehearse your speeches thoroughly--including mastering body language. But when you deliver your presentations, your listeners seem unmoved. Why? You're probably coming across as inauthentic. That's because when speakers rehearse body-language elements, they use them after speaking the associated words during an actual speech. Listeners feel something's wrong, because during unstudied conversation, body language emerges before the associated words.

So, don't rehearse body language while practicing speeches. Instead, imagine connecting with your audience emotionally. For example, envision what it would be like to make your presentation to someone you're completely comfortable with. During the actual speech, your body language (including smiles and relaxed shoulders) will flow naturally.

Today's Management Tip was adapted from "How to Become an Authentic Speaker," by Nick Morgan.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  May 20, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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