The Importance of Posture

Alright, so you’re interested in being a more persuasive communicator but feel like something’s missing from your talks, speeches or presentations?

Let’s take a moment to talk about posture. Remember, posture is literally the backbone of public speaking. If you stand straight, your movements will be more fluid, and you will be able to project your voice with a lot less effort. So sure, a good posture is essential… but what actually is a good posture?

You’ll often hear me talk about using the correct posture when in front of an audience. What I mean is this:

  • Have a straight back. And I mean straight, not that teenage attempt to look good by making your chest stick out and walking like something out of Rambo. My tip would be to imagine your head being held by a piece of string – like a puppet really – and to relax the rest of your body. Another good visualisation tool you may choose to use is that of what I’ll name the “head weight”. Ask a friend to push down on your head and attempt to keep it up. You’ll notice how you instinctively straighten your back and push up with your neck and head while keeping the shoulders back. This is the movement you want to replicate and keep in mind if you want a fantastic posture. Implement this in your daily life, whether you’re at the office, in the bus or at school, practice the visualisation and the movement that comes with it. (You obviously only need a friend to physically push your head down once so that you can understand the physical movement of your body… don’t start asking people to do that to you in the bus…).
  • Keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Don’t force them down by flexing your arms, just let them hang. This will give your movements more fluidity and make you look a whole lot more confident (even if you’re not!).
  • Maintain your head upright, your eyes looking forward and not downward. This is important for all the body’s movement comes from the head. Wherever the head goes the body goes also. So keep your chin up and you’ll find your confidence enhanced manifold, not to mention you’ll be able to create eye contact on a more regular basis.
  • Your feet should feel firmly anchored into the ground.
  • Finally, and I won’t write too much about this in this post, but your arms should drop neatly either side of your body, making it easy to use gestures and express emotions through your movements. I’ll talk about this in greater detail in another post.

Above all, feel comfortable, an audience immediately notices someone forcing himself to stand straight or to use certain movements or postures. Be yourself all while maintaining that lovely confident posture.

Pro tip: don’t hesitate to practice in front of a mirror. You are the harshest critic your body will ever have to face.