Articles tagged: gestures

When you think about charisma, who do you think about? Bill Clinton? Martin Luther King Jr.? Steve Jobs?

What about you? Do you have charisma?

Many speakers and non-speakers hold the belief that charisma is an innate gift — either you are born with it, or you aren’t.

But can you learn charisma? Recent research suggests that you can!

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Editor’s Note: As I watched the video contained in this article, my 7-year-old daughter peered over my shoulder and proclaimed “Dad, she’s doing bad stuff.”

True, but sad, since so many speakers perpetuate these communication barrier habits. I invited the video’s creator — Stacey Hanke — to share it with Six Minutes readers, and here is her article for you.

Most individuals are unaware of the static they create when they communicate. What do I mean by static? Static is created when what you say is inconsistent with how you say it.

For example, suppose you’re having a conversation and the other person says, in a boring, monotone voice, “I’m so excited to have this opportunity to work with you.” Their facial expressions are lifeless. They never look you in the eye while they’re fidgeting with a pen. Most likely you’d question their credibility and knowledge, and not take action on what they have to say.

This article will increase your awareness of the static you are creating for your listeners, and give you practical, immediate tips to have more impact and influence.

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One of my favorite TED Talks is that by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. In her talk, Gilbert speaks about the fears and frustrations of those who pursue a creative life, especially during those moments of angst when the creative juices are not flowing, and offers some advice and encouragement.

It is a touching performance. Even though I have seen it numerous times – I use it as part of one of the courses that I teach on public speaking – I never tire of it. Although there is room for improvement, the positive aspects of Gilbert’s talk make it moving and memorable.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

I encourage you to:

  1. Watch the video;
  2. Read the analysis in this speech critique; and
  3. Share your thoughts on this presentation in the comment section.

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The floor is open for discussion. You have a burning question that you want to ask, but as you try to formulate it, someone asks a different question and the topic has moved on.

Have you ever been at an industry conference, a PTA meeting, or a community gathering where you wanted to stand up and voice your opinion, but couldn’t find the words or didn’t have the confidence to put yourself out there?

This article shows how you can gain public speaking confidence using an unlikely method — by practicing improv comedy.

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As presenters, we know the importance of focusing on the information and emotional needs of our audience:

What is relevant to them?
What do they already know?
How do they feel about our topic?

When I recently spoke at two conferences in Africa, I discovered that there is another, more fundamental layer of audience needs to consider as well.

In this article, I will share the lessons I learned about basic communication issues when speaking to a culturally distinct audience.

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By now, you know that you should be complementing your speech with gestures.

But do you know how big these gestures should be?

In this article, you’ll learn to match the size of your gestures to your audience and venue.

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Is your body dead when you speak, or does your constant motion give your audience headaches?

Does your face signal fear or does it signal excitement for your topic?

Do your hands vibrate, or do they punctuate your words?

The fifth Toastmasters speech project encourages you to make every body movement enhance your speech rather than detract from it. This article of the Toastmasters Speech Series examines the primary goals of this project, provides tips and techniques, and links to numerous sample speeches.

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Your speech preparation is going well. You started with your core message, wrapped it in a speech outline, extracted your first draft, edited your speech, and added impact with rhetorical devices. You’re ready to deliver, right?

Wrong. You only have words on paper, and your audience doesn’t want to read your speech.

Your audience wants to see and hear your presentation. You will dazzle them by complementing your speech with staging, gestures, and vocal variety.

This article shows you how.

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J.A. Gamache demonstrates how to complement strong writing with powerful body language in a speech titled “Being a Mr. G.” that took first place in the 2007 Region VI Toastmasters speech contest.

This video critique analyzes many noteworthy elements of the presentation, including:

  • a memorable speech opening and closing which feature the same prop;
  • the callback technique for repetitive humor;
  • emotionally charged writing; and
  • a series of wonderfully choreographed gestures.

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