The Stool (How Position Affects Power)
People sometimes joke with me saying that they can always tell when I’m going to preach because there is a stool on the platform. Perhaps two stools, maybe even three. Let’s just say that the humble stool has become a bit of a calling card for me.
So why the stool? Do I get so tired after such expressive hand gestures that I need to sit down and recover? Perhaps. But it’s about so much more than that. The stool is a communications tool, one that is well worth understanding and embracing.
Most people would be aware that body language is the most significant factor in effective communication with some studies suggesting that its contribution to a message is up to 85%. Body language includes a number of factors, most particularly eye contact, gestures, mouth expression, and position.
Position is where the stool comes in. Position sends a message to your audience about who has the power, and how much power that person has. Position, while often interpreted subconsciously, involves a number of factors including the environment, props and posture, which all contribute to a statement of power that must be taken into consideration if your public speaking is to be effective as both authoritative and relatable.
Listen for the power dynamics at play as we break down the things worth considering as a communicator: Read More…
How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking
The fear of public speaking (aka glossophobia) is one of the most regularly identified fears among humankind with many people ranking it of higher concern to them than the fear of death!
For the huge proportion of people who suffer from it, whether mild or severe, we know the signs and symptoms: increased heart rate, memory loss, moisture being absorbed from the mouth to magically reappear in the form of profusely sweating armpits. For me, it was that my hands would shake as if I was holding a jackhammer. At times it felt frustratingly irrational, my brain would look down at and scream, “STOP SHAKING!!” all to no avail.
Ah, but did you notice the subtle change in tense? WAS.
PSA: How To Give a Great Wedding or Party Speech
Yep, it’s time for a PSA because this is a topic that really needs to be tackled. You know it, and I know it, because we have all been to a party or wedding where the speeches given are either really awkward, boring, or before we can escape, take a form eerily similar to a marathon filibuster. My feet are getting sore at the thought…
The good news: it doesn’t need to be this way! Regardless of your experience, you can give an amazing, thoughtful and creative speech that will be appreciated by both the guests and those being celebrated.
First – 4 THINGS TO ALWAYS AVOID:
- Birth Stories – I have no idea why people (especially mums) feel inclined to share publicly the details of childbirth. Nobody wants to picture that. Nobody. Ever. For some reason birth stories have become a piece of staple content for significant birthday parties AND IT HAS TO STOP! Read More…