Preparing Your Body to Facilitate
An effective physical "presence" is accomplished through a combination of diverse factors. Posture, physical attitude, quality and frequency of movement through the room, use of gestures, handling items, eye contact, and facial expression, are the most critical elements of what we commonly refer to as "body language." In order to project your desired physical image its important to make certain physical adjustments a regular part of your preparation process.
There are a wide range of physical exercises that will support this effort. Maintaining a reasonably healthy and limber body will certainly facilitate your ability to be expressive. Here are a few techniques that are specifically designed to help presenters:
Spinal Drop - Slowly curl your spine down towards the floor by beginning with the head. Remember to keep your knees unlocked and your neck loose. Hang as long as is comfortable letting the weight of your body do all the stretching ‘work.’ Slowly curl back up beginning at the base of your spine and restacking each vertebrae one at a time.
Body Neutral - Is a centered, grounded, energized and relaxed body position. Stand straight with your feet a comfortable distance apart, weight slightly forward on the balls of your feet, arms hanging by your side...everything energized and ready and free to move.
Shake it up or Shake it out - release excess tensions, locked muscles or awaken limp and lazy parts of your body by giving them a gentle and invigorating shake.
Purpose Practice - This helps to focus your physical energy and is especially useful for people with a tendency to pace or wander. Practice by moving around a room while talking. Never move anywhere without first deciding to go to that place. Use the structure that already exists in your presentation. Try to have your movement from place to place flow in tandem with changes in thought. Keep practicing until you are able to move with intention and can refrain from wandering without distracting yourself.
Spheres - Helps you to direct your mental vocal and physical "energy." Determine the effective range for your communication, envision a sphere that envelopes both you and your target audience, then ‘fill the space.’
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