I love working with people who have a background in physicality. Most of us do, unless you’re sedentary. And if you’re not active, go back to a time when you were active. Maybe you were a dancer or a musician or an athlete—go to that place.
The reason this matters is because when you’re speaking, whether it’s at a meeting or on stage or in a video, you’re trying to build trust with your audience. Well, your audience only trusts about 50 percent of what comes out of your mouth. TRUST me on this—there have been countless studies.
So as you’re speaking, they believe one part of your speech or presentation but not necessarily the next. I don’t depend on my words to earn trust. I know the audience trusts my body—my body language—100 percent. Your body can’t lie. That’s why I want you to use it to be more magnetic and influential when expressing yourself.
If you have a background in dance, but you find yourself doing a lot of public speaking now, like leading meetings or doing Facebook Live videos, rehearse by making your speech a dance. Rehearse while dancing. Say the words and match them to the movement of the dance. Or if you’re a guitar player (or play another instrument), act like you’re playing the guitar and match the expression of that to your speech. It will really free you up.
If you’re an athlete, like in my case, I didn’t know anything about the theater when I was performing my play, “Runt of the Litter”. But I wanted to be great so I matched my athletic movements to my rehearsals. I would run and rehearse, backpedal and rehearse, and make other athletic movements, matching them to the words.
We all have activities in our background. Match the physicality of your activity to your words when you’re getting ready for a big speech, presentation or meeting. You will bring that physicality into your performance and your audience will trust you. There will be no fine line between your words and your body. This is how you build trust and, ultimately, get your audience to follow you, work with you or buy something from you.
The body can’t lie.