One of my personal favorites is the British horse rider and the British horse rider — it’s a person who holds their hands like this, puts it just above the chest and it’s like they’re off somewhere: Oh, God, Fox over here and then we found two T-rexes as well in the study. Such a weird thing presenting like this or like this.
Okay, so you mean, David that we need to have an open body language? Yeah that’s what I mean and I’m not allowed to have them in my pockets, not allowed to have them in my major or the double bunny, no.
What on earth shall I do with them then? What you should use them for is what is called functional gesturing to show that something is getting better. Well that something is getting less good or that it’s one two three four five that we are going to go through. Use your gestures for what they’re supposed to be used for.
And what’s interesting with this is that, if you imagine the time we’ve spent on this planet as our race, how much of that time have we spent using gestures and non-verbal communication in order to communicate what we’re saying? Is that more than verbal? Absolutely.
Give me – let me give you a demonstration of how important it is.
So I’ll say something now and everything I say will be super positive. My facial expressions will be super positive and the way I say it will be super positive. But my hands will be saying the opposite. Are you with me? This just requires some focus.
All of you should learn more about public speaking, because if you do that, you will become better. You will grow and you will develop as a human being. People will love your presentations, listening to your arguments and just generally loving whatever you’re doing. So do yourself a great favor: learn more about this particular subject, because you’ll be thanking yourself for the rest of your life. And particularly you have been absolutely incredible. So I thank you for listening here.
Now the question is this: Did you listen to what I was saying or what I was doing? I believe that you focused entirely on what I was doing. And that is the case with body language and gestures. If it’s not saying the same thing as what you’re saying verbally, there’s a discrepancy and a disturbance in the communication.
Let’s move on from body language to a couple of tips on voice. And the first one I’m going to give you is about pace. So listen to this:
Ladies and gentlemen, what I’m going to take you through now is incredibly important for now and for the rest of your future life. We’ll go through the cortex, we’ll go through the limbic and the reptilian system. We’ll go through a psychological advanced profile where we’ll take you through the entire steps of the structure. We’ll then look at how that relates to Aristotle as Ethos, Logos and Pathos and I’ll carry on in this pace.
Compare that to this:
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m now going to take you through something that is entirely and utterly boring, something that you will have no use of in your entire life. And every second spent listening to me now and on will be a waste of time.
And now look at your faces you’re like Whoa! That last bit, I want more of that. That was super interesting the useless stuff. Yeah, I don’t want the brain so much. I want the second bit.
Why? Because your brains — they react to when a person has a low pace you think that what I’m saying is more important than whenever I have a high pace, because that illustrates that I don’t really want to be there. There are exceptions to this rule but that is the basics.
So keep a calm pace.
My next tip goes on pauses. The pause — is the pause important? Absolutely, it is.
So let me give you a classical rhetorical proverb. Now without pauses and it goes like this:
Did you know that every single decision you’ve taken in your entire life and will take for the rest of your life is based on one thing and one thing only? If you give that to the people listening to you, that is the feeling, that is what will move them now.
Now I’ll add pauses and it sounds like this:
Did you know that every single decision you’ve taken in your entire life and you will take for the rest of your life is based on one thing and one thing only?…(pause) and that is an emotion. Now if you give that emotion to the people listening to you, they will take the decisions you want them to take.
Is there a difference? Absolutely. But you know what? Some people are afraid of the pause. So you go like: woah, am I going to do one of those? I’m not; I refuse. I prefer to compromise, and you know what the compromise for a pause is: what does it sound like? Yeah, uhhhhh, ayeee, uhhhh, ahhhh. It’s like a skok of sheep when you listen to certain conferences… uuuhhhh…
There’s nothing among these 110 skills that lowers your ethos and your credibility more than uuuhhhh, because it signals that you don’t know what you are saying and where you’re going in your talk.
So let me give you a demonstration:
Did you know that every single decision you’ve taken in your entire life and will take for the rest of your life is based on one thing and one thing only?…uuuuhhhhhh… and that is a feeling…ahhhhhhh..
I think you prefer the one with a silence.
Now those were the five main skills I wanted to take you through. And if you haven’t used them before and you start using them as a public speaker, they will make a difference to your speech.
I would like to treat you to four small skills as well, just to give you an appreciation of how small a skill can be but still have a great impact. It looks like this (gestures)…. and those were the four skills.
Did you follow them? Number one as I looked up, which illustrates that I’m thinking, which increases your sense of presence for me on stage.