Posture – the importance of standing tall onstage

Updated: Nov 2, 2018

The way you carry yourself on stage has an effect, not only on your audience, but yourself. This is why standing tall on stage is so important.

Standing tall makes you feel bigger and more confident. It also makes you look taller and communicates a message of authority to your audience. People who are slouched or hunched over give the

impression of being depressed or tired (interestingly, studies have shown a direct link between physical posture and depression).

Standing tall to win

Other studies have also shown that the expression for triumph is universal across all cultures. The expression is that of an ecstatic face with arms outstretched (think of winning athletes at the Olympic games with their arms in the air).

‘We found that displays of triumph include different behaviors to those of pride and occur more immediately after a victory or win,’ David Matsumoto, professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, says.

‘Triumph has its own signature expression that is immediate, automatic and universal across cultures.’

Do’s and don’ts for good posture

Parked cycles Melbourne Victoria

So what is good and bad posture?

  • Don’t slouch.

  • Lean on any items on the stage (yes, this includes the lectern).

  • Lean on one leg or wrap one leg around the other, or swing one leg around like a pendulum (yes, I have seen this done by speakers).

  • Stand evenly on both legs, your weight evenly balanced.

  • Lift your head. Imagine that there’s an invisible string going through the top of it, lifting you up like a puppet.

  • Push back your shoulders slightly, imagining that you’re wearing a cloak. Imagine that the weight of the cloak is pushing your shoulders back and your chest forward.

  • Keeping this open posture expands your chest and allows for better breathing, and, therefore, better vocal projection.

Assume a strong posture on stage whenever possible. Sometimes you’ll realize that you’re slouching a little. That’s fine. Simply correct yourself and bring you self back to a place of balance.

Posture makes a difference. The most impressive world leaders all stand tall on stage. Be like the best.

Stand tall.

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