To become an effective speaker you need to strengthen your body language. In fact, posture, gestures, body movements and facial expressions are very important to become an effective speaker. Probably, eliminating distracting mannerism could be the first thing to work on.
“The speaker who stands and talks at ease is the one who can be heard without weariness. If his posture and gestures are so graceful and unobtrusive that no one notices them, he may be counted truly successful.” ~ Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, the founder of Toastmasters International.
Different type of mannerisms
If your standard behavior contains mannerisms not related to your spoken message, those actions will call attention to themselves and away from yours speech. At the same time, if your actions are wedded to your words, you will strengthen the impact of your speech – even if the audience doesn’t consciously notice them.
In fact, rather than adding or changing physical characteristics, sometimes the effective speaker must work on removing impediments. These impediments or mannerisms involve the whole body, such as rocking, swaying and pacing.
Whereas inexperienced or ineffective speakers could find themselves leaning on the lectern, tapping the fingers, biting or licking the lips, or turning the head and eyes from side to side like an oscillating fan.
Most of these movements are physical manifestations of simple nervousness. In addition, they are performed unconsciously; meaning that the speaker isn’t aware that he or she is doing them.
How to remove mannerism
Most of us are aware of our verbal mistakes. At the same time, many of our distracting mannerisms are difficult to remove; unless we have access to video equipment and can have our movements registered.
The first step in eliminating unnecessary mannerisms is to obtain an accurate perception of your body language. Then, the next step is to eliminate any physical behavior that doesn’t add value to your speeches.
You can accomplish this by becoming aware of your problem zones and by conscious self-monitoring during future presentations. If you have several problem areas, work on one at a time. As each is eliminated, move on to the next.
Keep in mind
To become an effective speaker you need to start eliminating distracting mannerism. You need to become aware of your problem zones and work on one at a time.