When you’re telling a story, especially if you’re doing it in front of a large group of people, the story you’re telling isn’t the only thing that matters. Multiple factors can make or break your presentation.
Giving a speech or telling a story is not the same as writing something online. You have to consider how things like body language, facial expressions, attire, and more will affect the mood of the audience and influence their reaction to your story.
One of the easiest things you can get right is attire. As long as you dress right for the event you’re speaking at and wear clothes that look nice and fit well. Strange or bad-fitting clothes can be really distracting to the audience.
Body language can be difficult to master for some, but is a very important part of storytelling and public speaking as a whole. It has a major subconscious influence on your audience and can affect how they see you.
One thing you can always count on wanting to avoid with body language is being slouched over or being perfectly still. For many people, this is their natural way of standing, especially when they’re shy.
However, this kind of body language conveys the message that you’re scared and intimidated by the audience. You’re unlikely to get their respect or full attention by standing there looking meek.
Similarly, facial expressions matter just as much as body language. In a large auditorium, you might think it’s difficult for people in the very back to even tell, but a surprisingly large part of the audience can see your expressions.
Your facial expressions will go hand in hand with your body language and tone of voice. An unmoving, robotic expression will put off a lot of your audience, and usually is accompanied by a lack of tone variation and still body language.
Another problem many speakers run into, especially when reading a script, is tone. Many people speak very normally, but the moment they start reading off of a script, they get very monotonous and static with their voice.
You must keep varying your tone depending on what’s happening in the story.
Keeping your tone the same the whole time will genuinely put audience members to sleep, and it’s a bad habit.