Effective Public Speaking Index
You should pay close attention to your posture while you are speaking from dais. You should stand with your feet 12-15" apart. One foot should be slightly in front of the other. This position will enable you to distribute the weight of your body equally and help you stand for a long time without feeling the strain. Your body should lean forward slightly.
Your hands should be loosely resting on one another near your belt buckle. Your fists should be open. They should look like you are about to clap, with one hand over the other. Never rock back and forth on your feet. This easy position of the hands makes for good gestures or use of notes. Under no circumstances should the hands be in the pocket or on the hips, folded in front of your chest or clasped behind your back. These positions give an unfavourable impression of the speaker.
The question What shall I do with my hands? is a psychological rather than a physical one. The answer is Concentrate on what you are saying and the audience will not notice your hands. If there is a speaker's stand, you may grasp it or rest one arm on it. But do not lean over it or drape yourself on it as though it were a prop to hold you up. If there is a desk, place your notes on it if you wish. But then stand clear of it. Avoid slumping over stand or desk. In general avoid stiffness and exaggeration. Strive to be natural.
During a speech, only your face, hands and upper body do the moving. Your waist and legs are generally steady. If it is a long speech, you may shift your weight from one leg to the other.
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