- your physical fitness
- how you walk and stand
- your smile
- how you eat
- how you talk
Physical fitness (proper weight, good energy, appropriate strength) eludes most folks unless they've created and maintained a responsible lifestyle. Your audience will be able to see just how responsible that lifestyle is by the way you maintain your body. Fitness speaks to self-respect and self-discipline. If you take proper care of your body, your listeners will feel better about trusting you and taking your message to heart.
You may be surprised by what others see
- Do you stand and walk with confidence, or do you tend to hunch over or to lean on the lectern, a table or a wall?
- Do you sit erect, or do you slouch and slide downward in your chair?
- Do you hold your shoulders up and your head high as you walk and stand, or do they sag as if you're dragging a ball and chain behind you?
Smiles, everybody! Smiles!
Remember to smile. If you're not in the habit, develop it. Wear a sincere smile that says, "I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to help someone today." When you can smile and truly mean it, your audience will sense this and will follow you anywhere.
Table manners are still important
Be mindful of the way you eat. Using basic table manners is easy once you get into the habit of doing so. Here's a helpful acronym to motivate you (and it applies to all the other points as well):
- YABWATT - "You are being watched all the time."
Finally, be careful of how you talk, particularly during those times when you're not on stage. Your everyday language, if in contradiction to your persona at the lectern, could destroy your credibility. The walls have ears - as do the curtains, the planter boxes and (dare I say it?) the washrooms.
Your life is now an open book
Once you accept the responsibility of speaking in public, your life is no longer private. You've committed yourself to helping others in any way that you can, and to succeed at this, you must be credible and elicit trust from your audience. Doing so requires, among other things, that you carry yourself well.