Monday, February 13, 2012

Great Presentations - Movement and Appearance

Edward T. Hall, the noted social anthropologist, claims 60 percent of all communication is nonverbal. Communication analyst Albert Mehrabian says we are perceived in three ways: 7 percent verbally, 38 percent vocally, and a full 55 percent visually, including gestures, posture, stride, facial expressions, movement, dress, and eye contact. These guys undoubtedly know more about it than I do. What I want you to learn is that gestures and body language can be used to help tell your story without using additional words, they can make you feel better, and they can make your audience like you more.

Gestures include all physical activity before, during, and after your talk. A gesture can be just about anything. It could be a hand on the hip, a wrinkled brow, a raise of the eyebrows, or leaning against the lectern. In fact, communications expert Mario Pei estimates that humans can display up to 700,000 different physical signs. I'll start numbering them now: 1) eyelash curl, 2) fingernail growth, 3) double chin wiggle . . . Of course, I'm kidding, but that is an awful lot of movement to keep track of, don't you think?

According to Dorothy Leeds in her book PowerSpeak, "Audiences are making their hard-to-shake first impressions as you are setting up, waiting to be introduced, and walking to the platform to begin your speech." When you walk into the room you should be smiling, upbeat, and at least appearing to be calm. You want them to be in fun, don't you?

If I had to pick one technique in this whole book for you to master, this would be it: smile.You can get more (s)mileage out of this simple facial gesture than any one of the more than 250,000 of which you are capable. This ultimate gesture, that is recognized all over the world, projects warmth and the message that friendship is possible.

Better presentations start right here...

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