An old joke, but true! Never mind the headlines, did the presenter do, wear or express something through his/her body language that distracted you from the story?

We know 70% of communication is non-verbal. And, as I teach in my Media Training sessions, these factors can be very off-putting and stop you from putting across your message effectively. Today I am thinking about: body language.

Sarah Lockett, TBD Media
Sarah Lockett, TBD Media

I would include in that: facial expression, eyes, eyebrows, head movement, hands, arms, shifting weight from foot to foot (if standing), bobbing up and down, swaying, glancing around shiftily, absent-mindedly looking around the room (if on a remote call), eye contact (with the camera/webcam or interviewer, if they’re with you). Plus some off-the-wall examples I have seen, including: stroking your thigh during an interview (yes!), twisting the fabric of your jacket, fiddling with bangles/watch etc. These are what a poker player would call your “tell”, the leaking out of your anxiety, a displacement activity for your nerves.

I love it when interviewees have energy and spark! At least they’re not dull and closed-off. BUT this can come across as anxiety or panic – and it’s not calming/reassuring when you have to communicate that you are in charge, on top of a situation, in control. People who run/jog, or who are pretty fit, often have this kind of energy – giving the impression they’d rather be hitting the tarmac and working off their energy in a marathon instead of sitting in an office being trained by me. I hate to dampen people’s sparkle, but in SOME candidates, it’s better to calm that boiling energy and focus it a bit more.

There’s a whole 45 minutes I could do about body language! But this is a short blog, a taster of my thoughts on the subject. Get in touch for details of my Remote Presentation Training – 90 minutes, usually via Zoom – and I promise not to crush your fabulousness!

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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