Body language

Before your next public speaking engagement (whether it’s in front of 4 people at the office or 450 in a lecture hall), you need to rehearse, practice & ASK FOR FEEDBACK.

In my ALL IN Social Club on campus, I hand out this chart so that everyone can evaluate each other objectively.

Use this chart yourself and ask your colleagues to circle your problem areas. 

LANGUAGE Verbal tics like “um, yeah, so, like, you know….”

active or weak passive words? (“I think, perhaps we can….” vs.  I” know. I’ve accomplished. This is what we should do.” )

leadership lingo (do you sound confident?)  Are people buying your message?

HEAD Nodding, cocking head to the side, bobbing your head. Shaking your head in a negative manner. Swaying your hair around? Moving your bangs from your face?
VOICE Volume – can anyone hear you? – Vary your sound.

Monotone? You should be expressive.

Do you sound like a leader or a little girl?

Do you sound like a “nice girl” or an assertive woman?

Avoid upspeak or uptalk (turning statements into questions)

ARTICULATION Mumbler – can people actually understand every word? Do you mispronounce words?
EYES Maintain eye contact (for longer than you normally would). Make eye contact with everyone in the room, not just the same people, not just the same section of the room.
PACE Too fast/too slow

Use of pauses (do you have calm silences or do the pauses freak you out?)

MOUTH Excessive smiling – smiles should match the content & context of your talk. (if you’re talking about war, don’t be grinning).
TIME Always use ALL your allotted time. If you’re given 20 minutes to talk, take 20 minutes to talk. For some reason women feel they’re being rude if they take up more time
ARMS/HANDS Avoid flicking your wrists; having clenched fists; tossing or waving your hands around.

Avoid leaning on the chair or table. Avoid rustling papers, pens or your water bottle.

Avoid fiddling with your hair, jewelry, glasses, or clothing

Avoid covering your mouth or eyes. Everyone should be able to see your mouth (don’t stand so close to the mic!)

PRESENCE Engages the audience or bores them?

Are you in “the zone”—in the moment?

Authentic and focused energy?

Personal Charisma (special unique spark that’s you)

POSTURE Standing tall. Stand like a dancer or Yogi. Have great posture.

Make deliberate movements.

Don’t slouch, hang off the podium, or pace around the room/stage.

ENERGY Enthusiastic? What’s the energy of the room like? Tense? Loose? Light?

Are you in the present moment?

Dull/monotone energy? OR Positive, contagious energy?


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