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Category Archives: The Power of Body Language

Monkeys Are Cute But They Bite

Ric MorganBy Featured Speaker Ric Morgan

Every one of us has one or two, or a bunch of monkeys on our backs that represent nagging problems we personally have with life. They are difficult things for us to deal with, usually born out of habit or some deep psychological problem, and it takes a lot of consistent effort to either change or eliminate them.

To give you an example, I have a lifetime problem with receiving. Ask me to do you a favor, and I’m right there, but for me to ask for help is difficult.

I noticed this about myself back in the early 80s. I was sitting relaxed in my easy chair and I happened to look down and noticed both my hands were closed into very tight fists. I opened them up, wiggled my fingers around a bit, but then didn’t pay to much attention to them. A couple of weeks later I was taking a long weekend road trip with my current girlfriend. She reached over to hold my hand, looked over at me and said, “Are you angry about something, because I’ve noticed that even when you are relaxed, your hands are closed in fists?” And she said she noticed that I crossed my arms a lot, which is a barrier sign, meaning, stay away or stay out. Then, being the very insightful, spiritual person she was she said, “These actions are symbols. Unless you open up, you will not receive your greater good.”
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The Power of Gestures

gestures55 percent of communication is visual. Think about that. People are getting more of your message from your eye contact and body language, than they are your words. So your gestures are very important in public speaking.

Your gestures can communicate authority, passion and confidence; or they can communicate insecurity, disinterest and low self esteem. It’s really your choice which you get to convey.

You can choose your gestures to emphasize your points and better communicate your message. Although your words and how you say them are important … you need to think about how you’ll use your body to bring those message home, too.

Here are three pointers:
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Color in Public Speaking Does Not Refer to What You Are Wearing

Nancy DanielsBy Featured Speaker Nancy Daniels

One of the requirements for dynamic speaking, whether it is at the lectern or just in normal conversation, is to be expressive when you talk. This is known as color and refers to your vocal variety, facial expression, and body language. All three elements work hand-in-hand to make your delivery more interesting.

There are some who are colorful in conversation but freeze at the lectern. All color drains from both their face and their voice as they hastily spit out a pile of words, hoping to get the ordeal over with as soon as possible. And, there are others who lack color in speaking whether they are addressing an audience or just talking to a friend or family member.

Why is color so important? Because without it, you are boring. It is difficult enough to keep your listeners’ attention. Our ability to focus for any great length of time has decreased considerably. With the overwhelming amount of visual and aural stimuli with which we are constantly bombarded, this should come as no surprise. Did you know that the amount of time spent on a website page is less than 40 seconds?
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The Power of Silence

When I was studying belly dance, one of the things I learned was the power of stillness … those moments in a dance where you hold a pose, are still and not moving. It is those moments of stillness that lend power to the movement of the dance.

The same is true with silence during a presentation. There are times when you need to make a statement … then pause. Don’t rush on to the next sentence. Hold the silence and let your words sink in.

For some reason, people tend to fear the silence so they fill it up with verbal fillers such as “um,” “ah” and “ya know.”

Embrace the silence between your words.

Embrace the silence between your sentences.
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Public Speaking Tip #7: Develop Good Presence

Here is the third and final installment of excerpts from For the Love of Public Speaking, a 27-minute introduction to Toastmasters I produced during a Television Production Workshop at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1994. This week I cover “Presentation.”
 

 
The information in this video is targeted to people who are just starting in Toastmasters. But the basis of what I’m saying applies to anyone who wants to make public speaking a part of their business, as well.
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Lose the Distracting Body Movements

Loose the Distracting Body MovementsYour body movement during your presentation has the ability to strengthen the impact of your message … or it can be a serious distraction.

One of your goals as a speaker is to look so natural with your movements and with what you say that no one even notices that you are using intonation and inflection or body movement as a means of emphasizing the points of your speech.

So, what kinds of mannerisms are distracting?
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The Speaker Sets the Message’s Tone

The Speaker Sets the Message's ToneAs a professional speaker, everything you do the minute you walk into the room sets the tone for your message. Without even speaking one word, you can determine just how many people you will reach because their engagement with your message depends on you; not on them. You can have a great topic and great presentation skills, but if you are not able to communicate the passion you have about your topic, none of it really matters.

Expect the Best
Go before your audience expecting to make an impact. People aren’t interested in what you know. They want your information for themselves and passion is the “grease” that lubricates that passage of information.

  • Do you expect your audience to receive what you have to say?
  • Do you communicate that you’re excited to be there and you’re excited that they are there as well?

Be Mindful of Your Audience
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