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8 Fatal Body Language Mistakes To Avoid During Presentations

8 Fatal Body Language Mistakes To Avoid During Presentations

Body language is one of the most crucial vehicles to interact. During presentations, you always use facial expressions and hand movements to explain and communicate your message. Using your facial expressions and hand movements or gestures can enable you to convey your content successfully and shows your confidence. If you use them inappropriately or inaccurately, they can become a source of distraction for your audience and will conflict with your message.

Here are eight presentation body language mistakes that you should avoid that include your movement, posture and facial expression:

1.  Movements of the hands

Hands Behind Back

    One of the common mistakes among presenters is certainly the movements of the hands. Hiding your hands, clasping them, or fidgeting with them displays your nervousness, and might give your audience the sense that you do not believe in what you’re saying. Keeping your hands in pockets is also a meek gesture that indicates that you are afraid, unsure, or not interested in the presentation. Some of your audience members might find it rude towards them. Remember, if you don’t look confident in you are presentation –the audience will not remain attentive.

    Instead – Try keeping your arms in front in an open manner.  Use your hands to explain your point of view through calculated, concise movement.

    2.  Crossed arms

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    Body Language Mistakes To Avoid During Presentations

      Crossing your arms might also give the impression to your audience that you are unenthusiastic about your presentation or information, or that something is incorrect. It’s a defensive posture that will signal defensiveness and resistance and create a distance between you and your audience.

      Instead – Keep your arms open, and at a certain distance from your body, almost like you are giving a big bear hug.  This open gesture is engaging and welcomed, it will give a message of peace and confidence to the audience.

      3.  Avoiding Eye Contact

       Eye Contact

        Avoiding audience eye contact and looking at the watch, at your feet, or constantly looking at the screen or your presentation will look facetious and unprofessional.

        Instead – Always consider to make an eye contact with audience when making a point. You can even make it short but don’t be too quick, stay truthful when eye contact.  Quickly moving your head during presentation will portray that you are personally interested and passionate in that individuals.

        4. Bad Posture

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        Bad Posture

          Posture is one of the most important attributes within body language during delivering a presentation.  If you are drooping your back and shoulders and your neck limping, it will defiantly convey a weak message and your audience might start thinking about your professionalism.

          Instead – aim for a neutral position, sitting or standing tall like a string is connecting your head to the ceiling.

          5. Bad body movement

          Shifty Eyes

            Walking back and forth and moving your arms and legs quickly will give an odd feeling.

            Instead – If you do need to move, it should have a purpose.  It is also important to not stay in one place, so moving throughout the entire crowd can send a positive message.

            6. Legs movement

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            legs movement

               

              During a presentation, naturally the legs can be the toughest to control while trying to concentrate on presenting and conveying your message.  Jiggling your legs and constantly settling your standing position will signal the audience that you’re uncomfortable and restless.

              Instead – While presentation stand confidently, make controlled movements towards the audience.  Where you move while presenting, make the audience feel that you have practiced these movements before – make them believe you are a seasoned expert.

              7. Forget to Smile

              Your face is most important aspect in making a good first impression.  Unless you are delivering some bad news, it is suitable for you to smile, even in a business meeting.

                Instead –Begin your presentation with a smile, in result your audience will receive your message more willingly.  Try to keep smiling during your presentation, particularly when you want to make people laugh.  People will respond to a smile by smiling back.  Interaction is key for a remarkable presentation.

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                8. Inappropriate use of hand gestures

                  Moving your hands during your presentation supports every word with more powerful meaning.  Whenever you want to make an important point, emphasize your words with hand gestures.  Your audience will remember the fact or a information better when you attach it to a movement or specific action.

                   

                  Try to remember all of these mistakes and tips to overcome them and the next time you present  – whether it is in a conference room or in your everyday life – and see how your audience reacts to this!

                  Featured photo credit: NASA Goddard via flickr.com

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                  Tayyab Babar

                  Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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                  Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                  Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                  Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

                  Do you like making mistakes?

                  I certainly don’t.

                  Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

                  Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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                  Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

                  Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

                  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
                  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
                  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
                  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

                  We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

                  If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

                  Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

                  Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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                  When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

                  Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

                  We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

                  It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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                  Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

                  Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

                  Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

                  1. Point us to something we did not know.
                  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
                  3. Deepen our knowledge.
                  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
                  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
                  6. Inform us more about our values.
                  7. Teach us more about others.
                  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
                  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
                  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
                  11. Remind us of our humanity.
                  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
                  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
                  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
                  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
                  16. Invite us to better choices.
                  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
                  18. Can reveal a new insight.
                  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
                  20. Can serve as a warning.
                  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
                  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
                  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
                  24. Remind us how we are like others.
                  25. Make us more humble.
                  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
                  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
                  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
                  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
                  30. Expose our true feelings.
                  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
                  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
                  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
                  34. Show us when we are not listening.
                  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
                  36. Can create distance with someone else.
                  37. Slow us down when we need to.
                  38. Can hasten change.
                  39. Reveal our blind spots.
                  40. Are the invisible made visible.

                  Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

                  The secret to handling mistakes is to:

                  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
                  • Have an experimental mindset.
                  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

                  When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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                  When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

                  It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

                  When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

                  Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

                  Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

                  More About Success and Failures

                  Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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