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					                                                HOW TO EVALUATE...                                        HANDOUT #5
                                       A SPEAKER’S NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

While your voice is transmitting a verbal message, a vast amount of information is being conveyed visually
by your appearance, your manner and your physical presentation. Actions speak louder than words.

    Skill or          +      -                                                      Why?
  Technique
Gestures                              Why gesture? Gestures are probably the most evocative form of nonverbal
 Purposeful                           communication a speaker can employ. No other kind of physical action can enhance
 Visible                              your speeches in as many ways as gestures.
 Meaningful                           o They clarify and support your words. Gestures strengthen the audience’s
                                            understanding of your verbal message.
                                       o They dramatize your ideas. Together with what you say, gestures help paint
                                            vivid pictures in your listeners’ minds.
                                       o They lend emphasis and vitality to the spoken word. Gestures convey your
                                            feelings and attitudes more clearly than what you say.
                                       o They help dissipate nervous tension. Purposeful gestures are a good outlet for
                                            the nervous energy inherent in the speaking situation.
                                       o They function as visual aids. Gestures enhance audience attentiveness and
                                            retention.
                                       o They stimulate audience participation. Gestures help you indicate the response
                                            you seek from your listeners.
                                       o They are highly visible. Gestures provide visual support when you address a
                                            large audience, where many people can’t see your eyes and facial expressions.
                                      Purposeful, Visible, Meaningful: To be effective, a speaker’s gestures must be
                                       purposeful, even if they’re performed unconsciously. They must be visible to the
                                       audience. They must mean the same thing to the audience that they mean to the
                                       speaker. And they must reflect what’s being said, as well as the total personality
                                       behind the message.
Major                                 Descriptive gestures are used to clarify or enhance a verbal message. They help the
Categories of                          audience to understand comparisons and contrasts, and to visualize the size, shape,
Gestures:                              movement, location, function and number of objects.
 Descriptive                         Emphatic gestures are used to underscore what’s being said. They indicate
 Emphatic                             earnestness and conviction. For example, a clenched fist suggests strong feelings,
 Suggestive                           such as anger or determination.
 Prompting                           Suggestive gestures are symbols of ideas and emotions. they help a speaker to
                                       create a desire mood or express a particular thought. An open palm suggests giving
                                       or receiving, usually of an idea, while a shrug of the shoulders indicates ignorance,
                                       perplexity or irony.
                                      Prompting gestures are used to help evoke a desired response from the audience. If
                                       you want your listeners to raise their hands, applaud or perform some specific action,
                                       you’ll enhance the response by doing it yourself as an example.
Level of                              Above the shoulder: Gestures made above the shoulder level tend to suggest
Gestures                               physical height, inspiration, uplift or emotional exultation.
 Above the                           Below the shoulder: Gestures made below the shoulder level indicate lowness,
   shoulder                            rejection, apathy or condemnation.
 Below the                           At or near the shoulder: Gestures made at or near the shoulder level tend to suggest
   shoulder                            calmness, serenity or anything not implying height or lowness in physical, mental or
 At or near the                       emotional degrees.
   shoulder
Hands                                 Every hand gesture should be a total body movement that starts from the shoulder,
 Held at sides                        never from the elbow. Move your entire arm outward from your body freely easily.
   until needed                        Keep your wrists and fingers supple, rather than stiff or tense. It carries energy, power
   for a gesture.                      & authority.
                                      Movement without meaning broadcasts lack of authority. Thus, avoid extraneous and
                                       repetition hand motion (e.g. rubbing hands, twisting a ring or watch, putting hand in
                                       pocket.
                                                    A Checklist from Caren’s Cool Collection
                Revised for 6/26/04 ―Evaluate to Motivate—The Soul of Toastmasters‖ presentation by Caren M. Borowski, ATMS
    Skill or        +      -                                                      Why?
  Technique
Use of Palms                    The most frequently used gestures involve an open palm held outward toward the
 Upward                        audience. The meaning of this type of gestures depends on the position of the palm.
 Downward                       Upward: A palm held upward implies giving or receiving, although the gestures is
 Outward to                        sometimes used as an unconscious movement with no specific intended meaning.
   the audience                  Downward: A palm held downward expresses suppression, secrecy, completion,
 Perpendicula                      stability or a covering over.
   r to the                      Outward toward the audience: suggests halting, repulsion, negation or abhorrence.
   speaker                       Held perpendicular to the speaker’s body: tends to imply measurement, limits in
                                    space or time, comparisons or contrasts.

Effective                           Natural: Gestures respond naturally to what you think, feel and say. When yo
Gestures                             present a speech, it’s natural for you to gesture and unnatural for you not to gestures.
 Natural                            You have a natural impulse to punctuate and strengthen your words with gestures. If
 Genuine                            you inhibit your natural impulse to gesture, you’ll probably become tense.
 Spontaneous                       Genuine & Spontaneous: Don’t get gestures out of a book or from another speaker.
 Animated                           Be genuinely and spontaneously yourself. If you impose artificial gestures onto your
 Lively                             natural style, your audience will sense it and label you a phony.
 Distinct                          Animated: Some people are naturally animate, while others are naturally reserved. If
 Vigorous                           it’s natural for you to use your hands freely when you converse informally, use them
 Enhanced                           freely when you give a speech. If you’re by nature a reserved, low-key person, don’t
    verbal                           change your personality just to suit public speaking situations.
    message                         Lively & Distinct: Your gestu5res should be lively and distinct if they are to convey the
                                     intended impression. A gesture performed in a half-hearted manner suggests that the
                                     speaker lacks conviction and earnestness.
                                    Vigorous: Effective gestures are vigorous enough to be convincing yet slow enough
                                     and broad enough to be clearly visible. Your gestures should be distinct, but not jerky,
                                     and they should never follow a set pattern.
                                    To improve: practice gesturing while speaking informally to friends, family members
                                     or coworkers. Relax your inhibitions, gesture when you feel like i, and let yourself
                                     respond naturally to what you think, feel and say. Through awareness and practice,
                                     you can make appropriate gesturing a part of your habitual behavior.

Body Movement                   Benefits: Body movement is changing your position or location during a speech; it is the
 Graceful                      broadest, most highly visible kind of physical action you can perform. Because of this it
 Purposeful                    can be a tremendous asset or a tremendous liability to your delivery. You can benefit 3
 Enhance                       ways by moving your entire body in a controlled, purposeful manner:
   attentiveness                 It can support and reinforce what you say,
   to speech                     It almost always attracts an audience’s attention, and
 Enhance                        It’s the fastest, most effective means of burning up nervous energy and relieving
   understandin                       physical tension.
   g of message                 Purposeful: If there is one rule for making body movement your ally and not your enemy,
 Fluid /                       it’s this: Never move without a reason. Just as purposeful movements beckon for
   Natural /                    attention, so do random movement. The body will do almost anything to rid itself of
   Smooth                       tension. Inexperienced speakers commonly perform such body movements as rocking,
                                swaying, and pacing, without being aware of what they’re doing. If speaking makes you
                                nervous and tense, try to incorporate enough purposeful body movement into your
                                speeches so your body won’t unconsciously indulge in distracting mannerism.
                                Enhance Attentiveness: The eye is inevitably attracted to any moving object. So, any
                                whole body movement you make invites attention. By moving for a reason, which is in a
                                line with your verbal message, you can stimulate the alertness and attentiveness of your
                                audience while simultaneously enhancing what you say.




                                                  A Checklist from Caren’s Cool Collection
              Revised for 6/26/04 ―Evaluate to Motivate—The Soul of Toastmasters‖ presentation by Caren M. Borowski, ATMS
   Skill or         +      -                                                      Why?
  Technique
                                Enhance Understanding: The meanings suggested by most types of body movement are
                                less precise than those aroused by individual gestures, but body movement can still be an
                                effective visual complement to your spoken words.
                                 Stepping forward during a speech suggests you are arriving at an important point.
                                 A step or two backward indicates you’ve concluded an idea and are willing to let the
                                    audience relax for a moment and digest what you’ve just said.
                                 A lateral movement implies a transition; that you’re leaving one thought and taking up
                                    another.
                                 Dramatize a specific point: In some instances, you can use body movement to
                                    illustrate or dramatize a specific point. For example, if you’re describing a physical
                                    action, such as throwing a ball or a runner straining to break the tape and win a close
                                    race, you can help your listeners to clearly visualize what you’re saying by acting out
                                    your description.
                                 Fluid / Natural / Smooth: In almost every speaking situation, you must walk to and
                                    from the point where you deliver your speech. If you incorporate visual aids, you must
                                    move your entire body when you use them. The key to moving effectively lies in
                                    making your movements easy, natural and smooth. You should always lead with the
                                    foot nearest your destination. If you’re going to step to your left, lead with your left
                                    foot. Never cross one foot over the other when you begin a movement.

Facial                              Friendly, Natural / Genuine: There are no rules governing the use of specific
Expression                           expressions. If you relax your inhibitions and allow yourself to respond naturally to
 Friendly                           your thoughts, attitudes and emotions, your facial expressions will be appropriate and
 Natural /                          will project sincerity, conviction and credibility.
   genuine                          Animate the face: Facial expressions are often the key determinant of the meaning
 Animated                           behind a message. When you speak your face communicates to others your
 Appropriate                        attitudes, feelings & emotions. Examples: Tighten or relax the jaw, squint your eyes,
   to speech                         raise your eyebrows.
   content                          Facial Expressions not matching the content: An audience tends to mirror a
                                     speaker’s facial expressions. A smile from you will usually bring smiles from your
                                     audience. If you frown, even unintentionally, your listeners will tend to frown back at
                                     you. If your expression is blank or static, they will sense that you’re cold and indifferent
                                     and they will probably reflect their feelings of indifference toward you and your
                                     message. So, let you your audience be your barometer for what’s happening on your
                                     face, you may be surprised by what you see.
                                    Keep face toward the audience: Practice enough that you can write a little bit on a
                                     board or read a little bit and look up.

Eye Contact                     Established bonds with listeners:
 Established                    Eye contact is the cement that binds together a speaker and an audience. When you
   bonds with                       speak, it is with your eyes that involve the audience. Make it direct, personal and
   listeners                        conversational. Conversely, there is no better way to break the communication bond
 No set                            than by failing to look at your audience.
   pattern                       In most cultures, the act of looking someone directly in the eyes is a symbol of
 Natural /                        sincerity. Failure to meet another person’s gaze when speaking implies disinterest,
   Smooth                          lack of confidence, insincerity and shiftiness. However, speakers who do establish eye
                                   contact were judged more truthful, honest, credible, friendly and skillful than those who
                                   did not. Only looking at your listeners as individuals can you convince them that you
                                   are sincere, that you are interested in them, and that you care whether or not they
                                   accept your message.




                                                  A Checklist from Caren’s Cool Collection
              Revised for 6/26/04 ―Evaluate to Motivate—The Soul of Toastmasters‖ presentation by Caren M. Borowski, ATMS
    Skill or             +      -                                                       Why?
   Technique
                                     No set pattern:
                                      Making effective eye contact means more than passing your gaze throughout the
                                        room; it means focusing on individual listeners and creating person-to-person
                                        relationships with them. Begin by selecting one person and talking to them personally.
                                        Hold that person’s eyes long enough to establish a visual bond—perhaps 5 – 10
                                        seconds, or the time it takes to say a sentence or share one thought. Then shift your
                                        gaze to another person.
                                      Don’t wag your head from side to side, or move it slowly back and forth like an
                                        oscillating fan. Your eyes should not follow any set pattern as they move from one
                                        person to the next.

                                     Natural / Smooth – How?
                                      Know your Material: Having control over your verbal message is a prerequisite for
                                        establishing effective eye contact with your audience. So, know your speech well.
                                      If you can speak without notes, by all means do so. It is possible to use your eyes
                                        effectively while using notes, but this requires practice and conscious effort. Don’t let
                                        notes be a substitute for preparation and rehearsal.

Posture                                  Distribute weight equally on each foot. This gives you balance, a good foundation to
 Poised                                  stand on, ready to move. It enables to execute a deliberate planned movement
 Confident                               without tripping over your own feet.
 Comfortable                            Hips reflect the weight distribution and movement of the feet (if you notice hips it is
 Erect                                   probably because of foot movement). It’s the ―cool‖ factor—stand on one foot and the
 Relaxed                                 hand in the pocket. By balancing your weight equally on each foot, it gives you an
                                          authoritative look.


Resource for further learning: ―Gestures: Your Body Speaks,‖ a manual included in the New Member Kit. The last page contains ―Evaluating Your
Body’s Spoken Image‖ evaluation form--a useful tool in preparing to evaluate speaker’s body movements.




                                                      A Checklist from Caren’s Cool Collection
                  Revised for 6/26/04 ―Evaluate to Motivate—The Soul of Toastmasters‖ presentation by Caren M. Borowski, ATMS

				
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