How to read body language

How to Read Body Language [Kindle Edition]

Nick Morgan

Every communication is two conversations, content and body language. And body language is often more revealing and truthful than content, especially in divulging what other people are really thinking. But how do you follow that second conversation? If you try to monitor it consciously, you rapidly become overwhelmed with ambiguous information. Did that twitch of the eye mean something significant, or was it just a twitch? In this brief eBook, author Nick Morgan shows you how to keep track of both conversations.

How are you spending your day?

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

— Annie Dillard

4 Simple Tips for keeping your cool before your presentation

Stretch to relax. Rise on your toes and reach for the ceiling, with your head back. Tighten your muscles from legs up through abdomen, and then release. Relax the neck and shoulder muscles, letting head loll on neck in different directions.

Breathe to relax. Stand erect, but relaxed and balanced. Inhale while silently counting to five. Hold the breath for five counts, then exhale for five – all breathing is through the mouth. Your diaphragm should move, but your chest should not expand. You can gradually increase the number of counts for each breath to 10.

Relax your Jaw. Let your head loll forward. As you raise it, keep your jaw relaxed. Let it hang open, and smile to yourself at how silly it feels.

Relax your throat. Yawn …. This is how your throat needs to be to speak well – open, and relaxed.

Keep relaxing the muscles throughout your body, your jaw, neck and throat until you walk to the presentation area. Then smile! and begin.

© Bronwyn Ritchie If you want to include this article in your publication, please do, but please include the following information with it:
Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian, writer, award-winning speaker and trainer. She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk, a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years’ experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. In just 6 months time, you could be well on the way to being admired, rehired as a speaker, with the 30 speaking tips. Click here for 30 speaking tips for FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com

Thought for Thursday – speaking about others

“When you speak of someone or about someone, you should speak as though they were in the room with you. The ears that you speak to today are attached to the mouth that could relay the message tomorrow.”

William ‘Biddy’ Allen

Amy Tan on Creativity

Lost for ideas for your next presentation? …

Plans for life

“Life is what happens to us when we are making other plans”

-Thomas la Mance

Create a deep connection with your audience – be authentic

Being your authentic self as a speaker is a vital tool in creating a connection with your audience. They need to be able to identify with you as a person who is just like them. They need to know that you are sincere and believe in your material. They need, above all, to know that you can be trusted. And that is not going to happen if they have the slightest suspicion that you are not being true to yourself and your communication with them.

This is not always easy. Being a speaker, establishing a connection with your audience, you need to find a balance between being authentic on one hand, and on the other, speaking in a language and a tone and with content that resonates with your audience. It is possible, but something that can easily be destroyed, sometimes with the best of intentions. Here are six ways you can maintain your authenticity and your connection with your audience.

1. Be yourself. It is tempting, seeing someone else who is successful, and admired, to want to copy their style, their energy and even their content. After all, what worked for them should work for you. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t! You cannot be yourself if you are being someone else. Audiences want more than a performance of someone else’s material. And so do you! The dissonance between you and the persona you are trying to create will make it awkward for you and will alert the audience, no matter how hard or well you perform. If you must copy, copy only those things that fit with your own natural, personal style.

2. Choose your support material wisely. Stories are a powerful way to support your material and make your points when you speak. They create an unconscious deep resonance with your audience that makes persuasion so much easier. Build authenticity into this process by using your own stories. Use stories about yourself or about your clients. Choose stories that you are passionate about. Tell them all from your own perspective (so long as they support the point you are making) and you will have the real you, making the point, with so much more power.

Humour is another strong speaking support. It builds connections on its own. If the audience is entertained, they will stay for the ride far more readily than if they are bored. Obviously the humour has to be chosen so that it supports your case, and does not fall flat or, worse still, insult. And the best humour to cover all those bases is humour about you. And in the same way that you used stories, you will inject your own personality and consideration for your audience into the humour and, in doing so, build authenticity.

3. Speak with passion. Feel your passion for your subject, and for communicating it, and ramp up the energy. If you allow this passion and energy to get through, you speak with confidence. Confidence communicates that passion, the fact that you know your content, and that you are confident to share it – the very basis of authenticity. An audience is far more likely to engage with someone who knows and cares what they are talking about and is confident that it will be useful and worth sharing.

There is a saying that “enthusiasm is contagious.” And it is so true. If you are enthusiastic about your subject then your audience likely will be too. It is very difficult on the other hand to be enthusiastic about material that is not your own. Before long the mismatch between your own beliefs and enthusiasms and the material you are presenting will show. It might not be obvious, but there will be a feeling of discomfort for you and for the audience, and the reality of your authenticity will be in question.

4. Create alignment. Your enthusiasm and your belief in your material should be enough in themselves. But it is worth remembering that everything that you do when you speak must be in alignment. Everything you do, everything you say, every movement you make must support everything else and they all should work together to support the point you are making, your enthusiasm and your passion. Any fidgeting or body language expressing nerves, for example, will undermine the image of confidence. Speaking in a monotone will destroy the feeling of passionate energy … and so on. It may be that you need some coaching to make sure that how you look, how you speak and how you move are congruent, because if they aren’t you undermine your authenticity.

5. Be aware of your audience. You are having a conversation with your audience. The conversation doesn’t have to be verbal on their part. But it will exist, nevertheless. And, to be authentic, any conversation has to be relevant, and interesting and appropriate, to the parties involved, or it will close down. So you will need to be aware of what is going to be relevant, interesting and appropriate to this particular audience, just as you would be in any conversation. Be aware of who they are. Be aware of how they respond to you, right from the moment you stand to speak. Be aware of whether your earlier research into them and their likely needs, wants and reaction has been successful and that what you have planned will make your presentation relevant to them. You need to adjust at least your attitude and presentation style and possibly your content and its order of presentation to how they respond to you. If this is to be a successful, connecting conversation, then you need to make it an authentic one.

6. Know yourself. Do the work to know who the authentic you really is, what your authentic speaking style really is. A lot of this will come from practice, from being confident enough to engage fully with an audience. I means being yourself, not trying to be perfect, but focussing, instead, on giving generously to your audience, and interacting with them. When you can try that style of presenting, you can find out just what works best for you, what an audience responds to and what really creates a connection. Then you can polish and re-use it in other presentations.

Let the real you shine through in your speeches and presentations, and be confident and assured that your audience will relate, connect and respond.

© Bronwyn Ritchie If you want to include this article in your publication, please do, but please include the following information with it:
Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian, writer, award-winning speaker and trainer. She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk, a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years’ experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. In just 6 months time, you could be well on the way to being admired, rehired as a speaker, with the 30 speaking tips. Click here for 30 speaking tips for FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com

Thought for Thursday – Choices for success

“So it is, life is actually made up of our choices. We are the sum total of them, and if we hold to an attitude of love and thanksgiving for all the good things within our grasp we may have what all ambitious people long for – success.”

Delma Neeley

Yes. 50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive

Every day we face the challenge of persuading others to do what we want. But what makes people say yes to our requests? Persuasion is not only an art, it is also a science, and researchers who study it have uncovered a series of hidden rules for moving people in your direction. Based on more than sixty years of research into the psychology of persuasion, Yes! reveals fifty simple but remarkably effective strategies that will make you much more persuasive at work and in your personal life, too. => http://bit.ly/JzqjVU

No defeat!

The virtue of all achievement is victory over oneself. Those who know this can never know defeat.
 
A. J. Cronin

(Overcome your fear of public speaking, and WIN!!)