Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

 

 

 

Demonstrate

A.S.T. - District 50, Area 66, Club 9872

   

                        Toastmaster Speech Manual Number Four

Show What You Mean  
 
 

Objectives

* To Learn the value of gestures and body movements as part of a speeches 
* To explore the different ways of using body language 
* To develop a sense of timing and natural, smooth body movements 
* Time Five to seven minutes 
 

Most likely when you talk to your friends or co-workers, you move your hands and arms, walk around, make eye contact, or change the expressions on your face. These movements are called body language.  
     Body language is as important in public speaking as it is in everyday conversation. By learning how to use body language in your speeches to illustrate and emphasize the points you are making, you will dramatically increase your speeches' effectiveness. Body language has another purpose, too.  
Gesture, movement, and facial expressions help to release any nervous energy you may have as you stand before and audience. 
 

Seeing is Believing  
As you learned in the second manual project, the only speeches worth giving are those on subjects about which you fell strongly. Yet imagine a speaker who is sincere about her topic, but stands stiffly before the audience, not moving at all or even looking at her audience as she speaks. Her words say she cares about the subject, but her body communicates otherwise. Unfortunately, the audience usually believes most what they see. The result is that listeners don't thinks he speakers is sincere and they ignore her message.  
     A successful speaker uses words and body language together to convey a message and show sincerity. Body language includes movement, gestures, facial expression, and eye contact.  

 

Movement  
Beginning speakers usually stand in one place as they speak. They are uncertain, uncomfortable, and self-conscious. But watching someone stand in the same place for long periods can be boring. When you move around, you display energy and provide variety for the audience. Their eyes and heads follow you as you move from one place to another .  
     Movement can vary. Step toward the audience to emphasize a pint. Step back to show you've finished a point. Move crosswise to emphasize that you're proceeding to another point. If you want to dramatize a specific point, use movement. For example, if you are describing a physical action such as catching a ball or running a marathon, act out your description by moving your body speech. In fact, they may even distract or irritate your audience. Your movements should always be purposeful and add to your speech.  

 

Gestures  
Gestures are the most expressive part of body language when you are speaking before an audience. Gestures involve the use of your hands and arms to illustrate your words.  
  
 

Some basic gestures show:  
1.   Size, weight, shape, direction, location. These physical characteristics call for hand gestures. " He went that  
       way!" you may exclaim, as you dramatically point out the direction.  
2.   Importance or urgency. Show your audience how important your point is. Hit your fist into your open palm.  
3.   Comparison and contrast. Move both your hands in union to show similarities; move them in opposition to show  
       differences. 
 

  
  

     Gestures can mean many things. For instance, clenched fists generally show power. If you want your audience to join you in fighting some injustice, for example, you may want to clench your fist as you urge them to take action. Open palms mean giving. Describing how a kindly neighbor helped someone in need may involve displaying your open palms to indicate generosity and caring.  
     A forefinger pointing toward the ceiling means people should pay attention to what you are saying. Folding your arms across your chest conveys unity, a good gesture to use when you are emphasizing team work or trying to resolve a conflict.  

Facial Expression  
People watch a speaker's face during a speech and take cues about how they are  supposed to react or feel the looks on your face. Your eyes, eye movement, eyebrows, and mouth play vital roles in showing sadness, fear, happiness, anger, frustration, nervousness, excitement. When you show these feelings, your audience will emulate them.  
     You can show sadness by lowering your eyelids, turning down your mouth slightly, and bowing your head. You can show surprise or disbelief by widening your eyes and raising your eyebrows. To demonstrate happiness,  smile broadly.  
     If you are talking about a terrible automobile accident, yet you are smiling and nodding, your audience will be confused, not sad. Your facial expression must be consistent with the feelings or information you are trying to convey. Otherwise, your audience will think you are insincere.  

 

Eye Contact  
Have you ever spoken with someone who did not look at you directly? They may have looked over your shoulder, above your head, at the floor, or even at someone else, but they would not look you in the eye. What did you think?  
     Most likely you doubted their honesty, interest, and confidence. Or you may have felt excluded from the conversation. Eye contact plays a major role in our impression of someone, and as a speaker you should pay special attention to it.  
     When you look directly at people, they believe you care about them. They think you are  sincere, credible, friendly, and honest. These feelings have a great impact on your message and their willingness to accept it.  
     As you speak, look at the people in your audience. Don't just gaze around the room. Look directly at one person until you finish a thought, then move on to another person. Avoid looking repeatedly at the same person, wagging your head from side to side, or moving your head slowly back and forth like an oscillating fan. Don't follow a specific pattern; make random eye contact. If the audience is large, pick out one or two people in each one so they get the impression you are talking ti them directly.  

 

Crafting Your Speech  
Since the main purpose of this speech is to use body language, select your subject with that in mind. Choose a topic that requires the use of body movement, gestures, facial expression, and eye contact to effectively make a point. Built your speech to include appropriate movements.  
     For example, one member who likes to fish described how he caught a large marlin. He used hand and arm gestures to show how he handled the line and how he pulled it in. He indicated the size of the fish with his arms, and his face showed the struggle and the triumph.  
     Another member who was a writer described the obstacles she encountered as she tried to complete a manuscript by a publisher's deadline. She used facial expression and gestures as she described how she had cope with two sick children, noisy neighbors, late nights, and barking dogs as she finished the draft just in time.  
     These are just a few examples of speech ideas.  
Be Sure to Rehearse  
Body language that looks unnatural or rehearsed can ruin even the most carefully prepared speech. The hardest part of using body language is making it look natural and spontaneous. Using it appropriately will tale careful rehearsals. When you have arranged your speech material, try several different ways of using your arms, hands, and facial expression to convey your message. Do not awkward. Natural position and smooth movements will come each practice.  
     Match your gestures to your words. You should be compelled to gesture and make facial expression when your thought requires such action. Just be certain that they flow smoothly as you speak. Don't finish a thought, then gesture or make a facial expression. Both must be done as you speak or they will look stilted and phony to your audience.  
     If you have access to videotape equipment, you should use it in you rehearsal to help you improve the presentation. Otherwise, practice before a friend and ask for comments on your use of body language. Rehearsing in front of a mirror may also help. Eventually, as you become more comfortable, your body language will spring naturally from your message.  
     You will find more information about body language in the manual Gestures : Your Body Speaks, which is included in your New Member Kit.  

 

Your Evaluation  
You will not master the use of body language in this one speech, but you will make a good start. Use body language in every speech you make from now on.  
    In this project, both you and your evaluator should pay attention to whether your body language extended, enriched, and clarified the message of your speech. Your evaluator will be looking for smooth, natural gestures, The message your listeners see should be the same one they hear. 
 

                                                Home | | E-mail  

Copyright 2000 by Addison Singles Toastmasters. Created by Magee Website Productions. Messages to Webmaster can be directed to Bill Magee.

The names "Toastmasters International", "Toastmasters" and the Toastmasters International emblem are trademarks protected in the United States, Canada and other countries where Toastmasters Clubs exist. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.