Tony Livernois gave us some tips on how to be a better speaker.  
 
He missed a critical bit of advice for Bret - less is more.  Please, Bret - less is more!
 
Tony Livernois was our speaker today and he gave us some great tips on how best to use that nervous energy we all feel when we're speaking in front of an audience.  Specifically, he talked about how we use our hands and feet can go a long way towards improving our presentation.  
 
Tony suggests speakers stand still, with their feet shoulder-length apart.  This helps us stand tall and project our energy up and out towards the crowd.  If we move around a lot, or hide behind a podium, our energy is channeled into the floor.  There are times when we want to move, of course - to address different sections of the audience or to use a prop. In those situations, move confidently and with purpose.  And plan to return to center stage frequently.  
 
Hands are more difficult to control.  It's comfortable to put them in your pocket or to fiddle with a pen, paper clip, or the like.  Tony suggests letting your arms hang naturally down your side and allow your hands to stay at their normal place - don't force them open, but don't clinch them either.  Anything else distracts your audience from you and your message.  
 
Using gestures is natural and an excellent tool to emphasize parts of your message.  Tony had a few guidelines for these as well.  
 
First and foremost, there is no perfect gesture.  Even from speech to speech, gestures won't have the same effect.  
 
Don't plan or over-practice your gestures - this makes them seem fake.  You should be aware of using gestures, and be prepared to use them.  But don't practice 'Raise arm to shoulder length here'.  
 
Gestures should be comfortable and they should amplify your personality.  
 
And gestures should be BIG. Gestures help keep your audience engaged with your talk - even (especially?) those sitting in the back.  But they need to see those gestures first!
 
I took several bits of advice from Tony that I plan on incorporating into my speaking style.  I expect most of the rest of us will do the same.  
 
 
 

Sponsors

Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide