4 Steps to Ace a Proper Speaker’s Stance

With No-Panic Presentation Skills, another small detail that can make a big difference in our delivery is a strong posture. That’s where speaker’s stance saves the day, and you don’t even have to think about it too much.

Scrutinize your speaker’s stance to prevent lazy nonverbal habits such as:

  • Crossing your ankles while speaking
  • Locking your knees
  • Resting all of your weight on one foot, aka “pageant pose”
  • Slouching
  • Rocking back and forth
  • Swaying back and forth
  • White-knuckle syndrome at the lectern
  • Purposeless pacing
  • Toy-soldier stance

Speaker’s stance looks natural and comfortable from your audience’s perspective. It just takes a little practice to feel natural and comfortable to you, too. These are the four steps:

Step 1:

Stand with your feet slightly under shoulders’ width apart.

Starting with step one prevents looking stiff and rigid in toy-soldier fashion.

Step 2:

Elongate your spine and assume good posture.

Imagine a string starting at the bottoms of your feet and continuing through your spine, pulling you into a straight and confident-looking posture.

Step 3:

Stand with your weight slightly forward in your stance, concentrated on the balls of your feet.

Experts tell us the balls of our feet are designed to support our body weight. Centering your weight on the balls of your feet eliminates pesky presentation habits such as rocking from heel to toe when speaking and doing the Texas two-step when you should be standing still.

Step 4:

Let your arms hang naturally at your sides.

Imagine you are loosely holding two water pails. Many times we wonder what to do with our hands, and we end up with some funky distracting gestures such as:

  • Pointing at people in the audience
  • Fiddling with the clicker
  • Clicking a pen top incessantly
  • Picking at jewelry
  • Fidgeting with clothing
  • Crossing our arms
  • Putting hands in pockets
  • Steepling

No-Panic Pro Tip: Practice speaker’s stance in front of a full-length mirror until it seems natural.


To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.


Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 


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