Lee Atwater once said, “Perception is reality.” I believe as speakers we must pay attention to those words, and more importantly, what this means for the message that we are telling our audience. It is very important that your verbal message and nonverbal actions speak the same message. If you are talking about having courage with confidence but your actions show you are fearful, nervous and hesitant, what is the audience to believe? In this case, the perception the audience takes away is that you are fearful and what you say is meaningless. One of ways to double-check yourself is to record your speech. In this way you can see your body movements and gestures and compare that to what your message is stating. If they are both saying the same message, your audience will not be confused.