It is the strangest thing but when people come in front of an audience, they change their speech style. It is as if they have an internal switch that says ‘change to presentation mode’. The main problem is that it oftens looks unnatural with a kind of formal speech style. Recently in a coaching session I witnessed that same change. I asked that person to begin the presentation again but this time talking as if you are not in front of an audience . Imagine you are just in front of some friends and you just talk to them . The change in style was huge. It was much more natural, in speech and look. So my advise is when you come in front of an audience: ‘just talk to them!’
What’s the difference between body disposition and body language? “Body Language” is what we observe in someone else. For instance, I might “assume” that you’re angry or defensive when you sit across from me with your arms crossed. Or, I might “assume” that you’re arrogant if you speak with me with your hands on your hips. There are numerous “body language” assessments that have us “guessing” at another persons mood or emotion. When, in fact, they’re nothing more than a guess. A suggestion is, to look at your “own” body disposition – in other words – how are you “holding” your own body. How do you feel when you’re in that stance/posture? What is evoked in you from there? Are you comfortable, are you angry, holding back, defensive – what? Knowing your own body disposition and practicing different ways in which to stand, sit, breath, etc. allows for the possibility to “shift” our mood or emotion at any given time. We don’t “show up” without an emotion. We’re always in one. Recent studies suggest that our emotions generate our thoughts. In working with executives in organizations, having them breath (take a deep, deliberate breath) allows for individuals to shift their current posture – which, in turn, shifts their mood or emotion. In meetings (or anywhere else, for that matter) where there is tension or emotions are running high, it is valuable to be able to shift a mood or emotion that will allow for a more reasonable conversation. If we look to ourselves to determine our posture when we’re making a point – can we listen from there? Conversely, if we’re laid-back and relaxed, how easy is it to be adamant about our point of view? Practicing how we stand, sit, relaxed or stressed, can open new doors to ways in which we’re able to communicate with one another.