Brittney Schwertly: Presentations are more than what you say. Listen in as we tackle three non-verbal essentials for public speaking.
Narrator: Welcome to the Presentation Mentor podcast, where we uncover the secret ingredients presenters used to woo their audiences and wow their listeners. Whether in a boardroom or a ballroom, you’ll learn how to achieve presentation greatness.
So, prepare yourself for standing ovations. Here are your hosts, Scott and Brittney Schwertly.
Scott Schwertly: Welcome back guys! Great to have you here on another episode of Presentation Mentor Podcast. I’m Scott!
Brittney: And this is Brittney!
Scott: And today we gonna be talking about three non-verbal essentials for public speaking. So, a lot of good stuffs that we’re gonna be tackling in this episode. So, definitely excited to get into it.
Brittney: I am too! I think this is one of those topics where myself included and most of our audience. You worry so much about what you gonna say. But then, when it comes to actually doing the presentation you fidget or you get nervous about what you’re doing with your body and all these other things. So, non-verbal essentials are really great things to be aware of as well as practice before your next presentation or public speaking gig.
Scott: Yeah, I know. In all my years of training executives and middle managers and really just anybody in the presentation space, most people can kind of get a strong understanding or develop strong understanding of what they do with there content, their narrative. They can also have a pretty strong understanding of what they do from a design perspective as far as look and feel of their slides.
But, it really comes to delivery, people can start to really overthink. Again, what they do to their hands, their feet, their body, what they should wear, all that stuffs. So, should have a good time today unpacking sort of are three things that you should be mindful of. Again these three non-verbal essentials.
So we gonna kicks start with number one here and we’re gonna talk about power poses. See you may, maybe familiar with this term, or this researched done by Amy Cuddy. As she’s based at Harvard. And, Amy specifically talks about three specific “power poses”. Uhm, were not, sorry. I take that back , not three power poses but, three kinds of power zones that make up the multitude of power poses.
So, we’re gonna quickly unpack some of these for you and then talk about some other the current research surrounding some of her works. So, essentially to, to break it down to its most simplest level, there’s essentially three power zones.
They have, the neck-temple, the waist area and the belly button. So neck temple, this is kind of, think about your neck area, your chin kind of a not, general area. Number two, is the waist area, so think about your waist in kind of what’s that looks like and then…
Brittney: You’re talking about the waist being like, kind of your rib cage
Scott : Yeah… Yeah…
Brittney:: Yeah! Yeah! A little higher waisted. So those high waisted pants that in right at the rib cage. (Laughing with Scott)
Scott: And then, right below that, you get in to power zone three, which is the, the belly button area. So if we had a kinda summarize it in a nutshell, if you think about a power zone one being your neck area. The whole idea there is you wanna keep your chin up, keep your head up, that’s obviously gonna, your shoulders’ back. That’s gonna exude, you know, confidence and authority.
Think about your waist area and your belly button sort of power zones two and three. Think about the Superman pose or the Wonder Woman pose with your hands on your side. Even think as far as keeping your legs apart. Those again are gonna keep you in that position of authority and power and that’s what you wanna be aiming for.
So a lot of people have responded very positively to this date. They’ve noticed that when there mindful and intentional with power poses, they themselves were more confident in front of a room. Therefore, they create better rapport with their audience.
But, there have been some critics of her work. I know you’ve kind of are up-to-date on some of that. .
Brittney: Yeah! She’s a great TED talk. If you haven’t seen it you can go back and you too better Google it whichever one. And listen to the TED talk, but after it first came out, people started trying to reproduce her work and try to reproduce the results.
Basically, she was talking about two things saying that power poses helped increase certain hormone levels that, you know, would help you feel more confident. But, that also, that when power poses we’re practice before a big event such as an interview or presentation and then also during that event, that people felt more confident. And so, initially there were just a lot of negative feedback on her research but recently, just actually in the last few months. Uhm? The whole hormone thing is still controversial.
But, the actual reproduction of confidence levels that people report and then the results that they get from that such as in interviews, are actually being able to reproduce and showing really positive research there. So, I’ve seen Amy Cuddy live. I know that you’re a big fan of her power pose idea. And so, I really like the idea of power poses.
Particularly as a woman, just because I think we tend to minimize our bodies, we tend to cross our legs, fold our arms in. And when you think about that, it does make you minimalize yourself and minimalize your importance. And I think, men do a great job at power poses particularly in public speaking arenas. They do keep their legs apart, they do keep their shoulders back, they are more commanding in a room with their gestures and so I think women in particular, power poses is a huge thing that we can practice.
Scott: Most definitely! I mean, so really the major take away there is, despite what the critics are saying there is a meant to value from actually implementing power poses and in being more mindful of what you’re doing with your body when you’re in front of a room or were on stage, uhm, you know all the focus was on you.
So, definitely, check out her work again. This is Amy Cuddy, were talking about power poses.
You can watch her TED talk. It’s on YouTube. It’s on the TED site.
Definitely, we’re carving out fifteen (15) to twenty (20) minutes to learn more about it, so you can incorporate it into your next presentation. Hopefully, all presentations moving forward.
Alright, now we’re moving into number two as far non-verbal essentials. And, this is sort of the big pet peeve of mine. But, it’s the whole idea of eye contact. And, you’ve been told your entire life make sure you give your audience eye contact.
Everybody knows this. But still amazing to me today how people neglect to give their audience actual eye contact. And so, I wanna remind you that today but then really kind of highlight the benefits of it. And, really focus on why you should do it
So, yeah! Let’s go and unpack that for you guys today. So, item number one here with eye contact sort of the value that it bring is number one, is the whole idea of focus or increased focus.
Brittney: Uhm… Yeah! Not only does it increase either focus but it increase your audience focus. So, studies have shown that when you do not make eye contact with your audience that you randomly picking items around the room to look at. This actually slows your brain down.
And so, you can make your presentation seem a little stop and go, so to speak.
So, one, it increases your focus. Number two, when you’re making eye contact with your audience,they’re more likely to make eye contact back with you. So if you are not doing that, then they also were looking around the room at random objects.
And then, they’re thinking about their grocery list, or picking their kids up from school or whatever else they have going-on in their lives. So, increase your focus, increase your audience’s focus, keep you guys thinking about the same topic, which is your topic.
Scott: Yes! So, focus obviously is a huge benefit for you and for your audience when giving any sort of talk. And one of the other second benefits, is or at least one of things that are portrays is thoughtfulness. One of my big pet peeves is, you know, someone’s going up there and giving their talk in they’re relying on, let say three by five (3×5) cards or sheets of paper or the notes on their powerpoint file.
With that’s, communicating to the audience is that you could basically careless. That you wanna show up today to actually add value and benefits to their life instead you’re gonna be relying on your notes. So, maybe if your talk was on a Monday, you’re showcasing that you would have preferred to marathon your favorite TV show over the weekend than actually prepared for your presentation.
So, if you wanna be thoughtful and if you wanna demonstrate the idea of thoughtfulness and being really selfless with your talk, then give them eye contact. It’s the best way to demonstrate that you simply care that you’re actually thinking about their needs or wants. The things that are keeping them up at night so you can come in and actually, hopefully, add value in some sort of way.
Brittney : That’s right! And the last thing about eye contact is, it really helps to portray confidence in what you’re saying. And so, if you are confident about what you’re saying then that sustained focused eye contact will just help not only make you feel that way but will also help communicate the confidence and belief in your point of view.
And one of the most really well-known people for doing this. Love him or hate him, is former president Barack Obama and his really great at, I think whether you do like him or hate him he’s really powerful order. He’s great in making eye contact and a benefit of that is it helps you to slow down and take those really powerful poses before you say something important .
And so, it’s just really helps to reiterate that confidence, again, and believe in what you’re saying. And when you do that, your audience is more likely to buy-in to what your saying.
Scott: Definitely! Alright, so there you have it. We’ve covered two of our three non-verbal essentials. We’ve talked briefly here about power poses. And we’ve now talk about eye-contact and we’re gonna take a quick break.
And we’re gonna talk about the third one which is what in the world you do with your hands.
Alright! We’ll see you in a few.
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Brittney: Welcome back! Today, we are talking about three non-verbal essentials. And just to recap we have gone over power poses and we’ve also reviewed the importance of eye contact. So next, we’re going over the big one, hand gestures. I feel like this is one where we all get tripped up, just a little bit.
Scott: Oh! For sure. I think this is probably one of the biggest challenges for most people that I trained. So, yeah, really excited here to unpack this one, in more detail.
So, we’ll kickstart with this, there’s a recent study done that proved that hand gestures actually increased the value of your message by sixty percent (60%). That’s quite impressive, for the fact that it’s a testament to the value of what you do with your hand, your feet etc. So, again excite to kinda unpack some tips and tricks for you on, on this pme.
So, given that, hand gestures, improved the value of your message by sixty percent (60%) if you’re kinda like, “Huh! That’s kinda of a general stat.” You know, prove me or prove to me that that’s actually really true, where there’s also some additional studies done on hand gestures. In fact, there’s a study that basically analyzed TED speakers. And obviously, there are TED talks who are super popular. There are other TED talks that are as popular.
And, what they found, which is kind of, I guess testament to what we merely talking about here is that, those TED talks that are the most viral, those specific TED speakers were using hand gesture. And they are using very well. In face,in the most viral, there are four hundred and sixty five (465) hand gestures in that eighteen (18) to twenty (20) minute talk. Where the ones that weren’t as popular, there only about two hundred and seventy two (272) hand gestures.
So, the correlation there is, the more that people are utilizing their hands, the more popular the TED talk was. So lesson, for you is well, let’s figure out how to master your hand gestures so you can be more impactful the next time you give your presentation.
Brittney: Yeah! The first tip is to stay inside the box. So, if you think about your shoulder area to your hip area being that box and maybe just about half of foot outside of that. So, you have about two foot box up and down, two foot square box.You wanna keep your hands inside that box, and so you wanna avoid jazzhand or cheerleader poses.
(Scott and Brittney are both laughing)
But you also don’t wanna keep your arms crossed, so there’s this middle ground there, where you wanna stay inside the box because it’s too much is distracting and out of control. ..And, too little is just not enough and boring so whatever hand gestures you find,which by the way, Google hand gestures. (Laughing)
You can find a ton! We’re gonna go over a few of our favorites but whatever hand gestures you find that, you know, you need to practice or added in to what your doing, try to make sure that you keeping them inside that box.
Scott: For sure! That, I mean that’s definitely, yeah, the best way to go.
Brittney: Uhmm… And so, the favorites that we have, I let you start off with yours.
Scott: Yeah! I know one that obviously being in the position where I have to be an expert. I know a classic one is kind of that, the stipple. Where you’re putting your fingers together at the top, kinda create a stipple but basically with that, signifies, is that, your, an expert you’ve got your stuff together. You know what you talking about, and it’s a great way, almost instantaneously to build your credibility, build your authority as, as a speaker. So, I know, that’s kind of a go to, uhm…
Brittney: Yeah! It’s also a very good resting pose. So, I think sometimes like (laughing) like we do worry about like, “are we moving too much?” You know, and so there are times we need a hand gestures that’s a resting pose. And I think that’s a good one, coz you can actually bounce your fingers off each other little bit or just rest them to each other. And so, it’s not so distracting. But you aren’t like leaving your hands down to by your side, in stiff position.
Scott: And it comes natural to go put it into that box where you’re not gonna feel like, “Oh!, I gotta put way up here ( Brittney laughing ) way down here. You can just rest it right there in front of you while staying at that pose.
Brittney: Yeah! Uhm? One of my favorites is the listing. You know, we’ve talked about in, our other podcasts, Scott loves the list of three.
So, when you’re actually creating your outline for your presentation, you list three (3) things. You go over these three things. And then, you remind your audience of those three things.
This is it, really easy one, your, if you’re following our recipe for a great presentation or public speaking event, you can use your fingers to list number one, number two, number three. And, in that same vein, you often times are relating thing that are smaller, medium, large, Remember, that you can use your hands to really suggest size of something. And so, even pinching your fingers together to suggest that something is tiny or you know, making your hands further apart to suggest that something that’s larger. So, those are just really simple ones that ŵe kinda forget about.
Scott : Uhm… I also really love the whole idea of “the me” hand gesture where you’re basically putting your hands on your chest. I know, I’m a big fan of starting presentations with the personal stories. If you’re talking about something that close your heart or put your hands on your heart or put them on your chest. And it kinda of helps to tear down those walls between you and the audience.
Yeah! And that’s just simple “me” gesture of, again, putting, again your hands on your chest.
Brittney: The opposite, you can extend your hands outward. Just say “you”!
And invite your audience in, let them kind of pull themselves into what you’re speaking.
Scott: And again, all these naturally, you know, reaching out to your audience, reaching towards you for the “me”. It’s all again in that box which, again, keeps it in that safe zone so that’s we’re talking about.
Brittney: Yeah! And you know when you are going over all of these things, whether it’s a powerful pose, whether its eye-contact, whether it is hand gestures. Really the important thing is…
Scott: Practice! You gonna do it over and over again. It’s, some of this stuff, not gonna come naturally. Now, the hand gesture stuff you gonna have to be intentional. You gonna have to get in front of the mirror, get in front of your spouse and be deliberate with trying these things and adding them to your arsenals or your tool box of things that you do.
Same thing with eye contact, I mean, you’re not gonna able to give your audience eye contact if you don’t know your message, if you don’t know your materials. So, you have to know message first and then you can get into that habit.. .
Brittney: Exactly, I was gonna say the same thing.
Scott: Yeah! (Laughing)
Brittney: Know your words before you start practicing these things, but don’t be afraid to film yourself I mean, most of us, I would say ninety-nine percent (99%) of us all have a smart phone with a camera. And you can video yourself. You don’t have to show it to anyone else. If you’re embarrassed about it.
But, just, you know, notice your hand gestures how often are you using the. Are they fluid? Did they seem choppy? You know, are you practicing your eye contact? And, you know, are you keeping your feet apart and in an assertive pose or at least a confident pose? Cause here just things you can be mindful of and watch yourself.
Scott: Definitely! Alright, guys, so there you have it ah three non-verbal essentials for public speaking. Here with the focus on power poses, eye contact, and what to do with your hands.
So, we hoped you’d enjoy this episode. We’re gonna come back next week where we gonna talk about three (3) non-verbal, sort of non-essentials or things like these should be avoiding the next time you give a presentation
Brittney: (Laughing) Quote-unquote, Scott’s pet peeves.
(Scott and Brittney are both laughing)
Scott: So, thanks again for joining us on this episode and we will catch you next week.
Brittney: See you next time!
Narrator: Thanks for joining Scott and Britney on another episode of the Presentation Mentor podcast. If you’re looking to improve your presentation skills, be sure to check-out the presentation mentor online course at presentationmentor.com.
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