A speaker on stage at a seminar just blew your socks off. She projected confidence and grace, her movements helping to make her points clearer. What was she doing that made her so good? A lot of things, probably, but let's start with the feet.
Grounded, confident feet can go a long way in helping to build your presence. But what are grounded feet? Well, they're “grounded”, naturally. Ehm...you know, to the ground. We want feet that are firmly planted, able to support your body so that it can project confidence. But it is more than that. Grounded feet support you and your speech exclusively.
Did you ever notice when you stand around talking to a friend, that sometimes your feet tend to wander? You shift your weight, your feet turn this way and that: it's like all the little thoughts in your head that aren't about the conversation are seeping through your shoes. Those are feet with their own agenda: feet thinking about last night, about what you had for lunch, about where you'd rather be. That's fine when you're hanging with your friends (as long those feet don't end up kicking someone.) It's not so fine when you're speaking to a group and you're the center of attention.
A speaker who lets her feet roll back and forth, or meander from side to side, gets her power sapped by these “parasitic” movements. It makes the speaker look distracted and unconfident. And if the speaker seems unconfident, the audience will lose confidence in the speaker.
Does this mean you should start each speech by super-gluing your feet to the floor? No! (Although that WOULD make for a heck of an opener.) The goal is not to freeze your feet in place, but to move with purpose, in ways that serve your speech. You don't want those deliberate steps to be undermined by your unconscious steps. So, you must move with purpose (to serve the speech) and you must also NOT move with purpose (to serve the moments when you move with purpose.)
Footwork is just one small part of the skill set we can help you build at MUSE. Contact us now for a free assessment.