In our last lesson, we talked about one kind of language. Now we'd like to talk about another – body language, also known as nonverbal communication. Knowing how to use it can make you a far more effective speaker.
And so can knowing how to read it in your audience.
If your listeners lean forward in their seats, with both feet on the floor, that may tell you they are paying attention to what you are saying. Other signs of interest include eye contact, smiling, nodding their heads and sitting with their hands and arms in an open, relaxed position. If they fidget and cross their legs, however, that's a sign of inattention and boredom. So is leaning back in their seats, slumping, folding their arms and looking at their watches, tapping their feet, swinging their legs, doodling or glancing longingly at the door. That's when you know it's time to speed things up or even bring your speech to a close. That's the audience's body language. But what about yours?