Presentation Skills Training: Making an Energetic Presentation With Body Movement and Speaking Pace

Energy is a critical element for any motivational speech, whether to a rally of thousands or to one potential customer or employee. So how do we express that energy and translate it to our audience?

Two elements express energy: the movement of your body and the pace of your words.

Let’s first check out movement. Movement is very important to any presentation, both to combat your public speaking nerves and as a way of keeping audience attention. Your body movement is a way of setting a mood, either good or bad. So let’s use that movement to create an atmosphere of energy and excitement.

The Magic of Movement:

Be a moving target.

Move with energy and purpose. Take long steps and use large arm movements. This conveys to the audience that you are telling them an important and exciting idea or fact.

Make use of your entire space.

If you have a full stage, travel to one end to discuss one point and look directly at the people in that part of the audience. Then go to the other end, then the center, etc. If, on the other hand, you are locked behind a podium or table, or even seated in front of a client, make good use of all the dimensions of movement, even if you can’t go very far with your feet. Lean ahead, step back. Deeply bend your knees, reach up while on tiptoe. Reach around the podium to your left, lean on the podium with your right elbow. If you are seated, use your tailbone as a pivot and cover all the dimensions.

Pick Up Your Speaking Pace:

Ralph Nichols, one of the first people to study effective listening, discovered a surprising fact: listeners stayed more attentive and gained more information and understanding from fast-paced speakers than they did from their slower or moderately paced colleagues. His studies showed that the reason for this is that people can listen about three times faster than the average person speaks. What happens then is that about two-thirds of the listening time is available for thinking about something else… and pretty soon, the ‘something else’ becomes more interesting than the speaker.

So, to keep your audience’s attention, the answer is this: speak faster than you do in day-to-day conversation. This pace has the added advantage that it makes the audience feel they might miss something if they get distracted. When they are that focused, your energy becomes their energy and they buy into your message.

Both your movement and your speaking pace are critical to creating energy in the audience, yet there is another factor which is perhaps most critical of all:

The most significant way to transmit energy to your audience is to truly care about your subject.

In our presentation skills coaching, we often tell the story of safety advocate Ralph Nader, who is definitely not a flamboyant presenter, but who has such concern for his subject that his emotional energy immediately draws you in.

Unleashed energy can be extremely powerful.

Leashed or unleashed, energy is a significant key to motivating an audience, selling a product or project, raising funds or presenting a new policy. It also establishes you as a ‘want-to-hear’ presenter

How To Win More Negotiations – Understand The Shoulder Shrug – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Shrugging shoulders – The question was asked of him, “why should we lower our price?” He shrugged his shoulders, took a moment to reflect on the question, and then offered several reasons why the price should be reduced. Little did he know, his shoulder shrug exposed the fact that initially, he didn’t have an answer to the question. Others picked that up and he lost credibility.

When negotiating, you should possess a heightened sense of awareness about the signals you send via your body language. You should also have a heightened sense of awareness of the other negotiator’s body language. That’s because body language displays true feelings. While some very good negotiators know how to convey false emotions through their body language, through their attempt to convey such emotions, their body tries to compensate for the inequity the body is experiencing. The shrugging of the shoulders is one form of display that the body conveys such sentiments.

What shoulder shrugging indicates:

The shrugging of the shoulders during a negotiation can imply different meanings depending on what occurred earlier in the negotiation, the level of intensity of what’s currently being discussed, and the mental frailty of the negotiator displaying the gesture. It can mean:

  1. What else do you want from me?
  2. I don’t really know the answer to that?
  3. I don’t care?
  4. I feel threatened!
  5. I’m indecisive.
  6. I’m thinking but I don’t know what to say.
  7. I’m experiencing some form of pressure.
  8. I disagree with you.
  9. I have disdain for what’s being discussed.
  10. I despise you.

To more accurately note the intent of the meaning, observe what occurred prior to the shoulder shrugging gesture. Also, note the length of time the shoulders stay in that position; that will allow you a glimpse into the degree the expression is being internalized. You can also gain additional insight into its meaning by noting other body language gestures that accompany the shrug(s). As an example:

  1. Mouth agape with head leaning forward is more of a display of not backing down. While head leaning back can indicate a reluctance to pursue the point being discussed much further.
  2. Ponding of the fist indicates defensiveness with the possibility of becoming aggressive.
  3. Sighing while displaying the shoulder shrug is a sign of exasperation. The level of exasperation is amplified when hands are extended in a palms-up or palms-down gesture.

When reading body language, you need to remember that the body always seeks to be in a state of comfort. When that state is violated the body displays its lack of comfort in an attempt to retrieve the state of comfort that it seeks. It’s during the times when the body is displaying such gestures that you need to be very attentive. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of what’s occurring in the other negotiator’s mind by doing so. Depending on your negotiation strategy, you can allow the opposing negotiator to emotionally flutter in discomfort or throw him a lifeline to assuage his discomfort.

In your future negotiations, if you become more aware of body language signals and the shoulder shrug in particular, you’ll be able to negotiate from a stronger position… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

Presenting a Vision With Editorial Photography

It has been said numerous times that a picture is worth a thousand words and nowhere else is this truer than with editorial photography. Newspapers and magazines that publish photographs that accompany articles are using this type of photography to add visualization to their printed stories. The use of pictures to accompany articles may not pay as much as commercial or corporate photography but is a great way to achieve name recognition.

With most pictures appearing in magazines or in newspapers credit is given to the photographer, which will help them build their portfolio. In newspapers, photographers vie for awards for their work, and winning prizes as well as having their name appear with their work can give them a portfolio to use to gain photographic work in other more lucrative industries.

Some newspapers and magazines, and now internet sites may use the same photographer to create editorial photography as well as advertising or product images and photographers that can do both can build their portfolio even quicker. However, pictures used for advertising or marketing purposes usually do not have any accompanying credit and the photographer will need to have some sort of documentation that they did, in fact, take the picture.

Other aspects of editorial photography can include pictures of disasters such as car accidents or the aftermath of violent storms. Essentially these are the images that accompany articles in the editorial side of the news business. Videographers working for television news bureaus are also involved in editorial photography and only they use video equipment and are often referred to as video journalists as their pictures tell a story.

Editorial photography refers to the pictures in a magazine that aren’t ads. The photographs that go along with the articles – even the cover of the magazine. Some photographers shoot only editorial type work, others shoot both editorial and commercial. For many professionals, despite the typically lower pay, editorial photography offers them a chance to tell a story they believe to be important to a wider audience. By taking pictures that present facts in an enticing manner they can often convince newspapers and magazines to use their pictures, along with additional editorial content to tell a story that may otherwise be overlooked. They can also be used to help people in need. For example, photographs taken in the aftermath of recent tornadoes have been used to show the devastation and to raise awareness for help needed in those communities. These pictures play a role in public donations for those hit hardest by the storms.