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Painless Presentations: The Proven, Stress-Free Way to Successful Public Speaking by Lenny Laskowski

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Chapter 6

Nonverbal Messages

Research has demonstrated that more than half of all human communication takes place on the nonverbal level. When you present in front of an audience, your audience will base their judgment of you and your message on what they see as well as what they hear.

Your body can be a very effective tool for adding emphasis and clarity to your words. Your nonverbal message is your most powerful instrument for convincing your audience of your sincerity, earnestness, and enthusiasm. Keep in mind that if your physical actions do not agree with your verbal message, your body can defeat your words. Effective speech delivery involves the whole person.

GESTURES—LET YOUR BODY SPEAK

Effective presentation delivery involves the whole person. You need to learn to use your entire body as an instrument of communication. You, the speaker or presenter, are the most important visual aid of all. Following are some good reasons to use yourself as a visual aid.

1. You do not have to darken the room to be seen. In the old days, the technology was limited to 35-mm slides or using an overhead projector. Due to the technology, it was necessary to lower or reduce the room lighting to be able to see any projected image. When you lowered the lights, it then became very difficult to see the speaker.
2. You do not burn out. Unlike overhead projectors and other equipment, there is no special lightbulb that can burn out and need to be replaced.
3. You yourself do not need electricity. There ...

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