Nonverbal Elements of Delivery

• Should match the topic, occasion, and the audience’s expectations
• Accessories should not outshine the message (tasteful outfit in which
jewelry, clothes, and hairstyle do not distract the audience)
• If appearance draws too much attention, the audience is not listening to
the message
• First impressions are very important
Eye Contact
• Maintain eye contact with all audience members and do not glare
• Allows the speaker to make a personal connection with his/her audience
members, to build credibility, and to obtain feedback
Facial Expressions
• Should be natural unless you’re driving a point home
• Should match the words spoken
• Smile to break the ice and dispel nervous tension (especially in the
beginning of the speech and/or before you begin speaking)
Gestures – movement of your hands and arms
• Telegraph meanings (conductor and his/her musicians)
• Should be expressed effectively (hands should not be in your pockets,
behind your back, fidgeting, or gripping each other)
• Should be deliberate, spontaneous, and natural
Body Movements
• Indicate how close speaker feels to his/her listeners
• Show confidence and can signal transitions
• Walk purposely and gracefully, do not shift your weight
• Can show mood changes if deliberate
• Lean forward but don’t hunch over (prevents voice projection)
• Maintain an even balance of weight and an open body stance so as not to
direct an audience’s attention all over the room
• Slumping or slouching can be perceived as lacking confidence and not
• Be natural (not too firm or stiff)
• Stand tall with your head up and your shoulders back

Morreale, S.P., & Bovee, C.L. (1998) Excellence in Public Speaking
UNCG University Speaking Center, 256-1346, speakingcenter.uncg.edu