Barbara Scribner introduced our guest speaker, George Hendley, founder of The Speakers Academy, giving the presentation entitled: “Speak with Confidence: How to Inspire and Influence Your Audience to Action”!
Samuel Johnson said, “Self-confidence if the first requisite to great undertakings.” Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”
George has realized in delivering training to companies of all sizes, that there are simple principles that when used consistently will help you inspire and influence your audience. They all stem from the 3 V’s: Visual, Vocal, and Verbal. Today, he shared about visual and vocal delivery.
Visual delivery is the most important because we are all visually oriented.
- Attire and Grooming: Daymond John, Shark Tank Investor, said, “Good grooming is integral and impeccable style is a must. If you don’t look the part, no one will want to give you time or money.” Dress at or slightly above the level of your audience or customer. It is better to be ready to “dress down” than not be able to “dress up”.
- Posture and Position: how a person holds themselves. General George S. Patton said, “Never give a command in a sitting position unless you are on a horse or on top of a tank!” The speakers stance (straight and tall with your hands out, palms up) gives you the right posture. You don’t want the fig leaf , parade stance, or casual look with hands in your pockets; people wonder what you are trying to hide! Choose your position (proximity) by what is comfortable for your listeners.
- Gestures: Good gestures are movement with meaning and purpose; they increase the clarity and comprehension of your verbal message. Studies have shown that teachers who use vivid, vibrant gestures, have students who pay better attention and retain the information longer and better.
- Facial Expressions: Shawn Achor said, “Want people around you to be more positive? Check your face first.” Our face shows who we really are and our interest and enthusiasm in our message and the one being shared with us. Your smile is the ultimate connector between yourself and your audience. Your face is the place to build congruence with your verbal and vocal message.
- Eye Connection: good eye connection is your best method for building empathy and understanding with your audience. Find the “happy eyes” in your audience and connect.
Every one of you are making mini-presentations every day! Often they are just brief elevator speeches, but they give you the opportunity to make a connection (or fail to make that connection) with your audience.
Vocal delivery should be done in a relaxed and conversational manner. The most important aspects of good vocal delivery are:
- Volume: remember Goldilocks. Not too loud, not too soft. Just right! You want to make sure your message is heard!
- Emphasis: The right emphasis on the right word at the right time. It can change the meaning of what you say.
- Pacing: Goldilocks again…not too fast, not too slow. Just right! You want variety in your speed.
- Pitch: a deeper, more resonant pitch is more attractive and persuasive. Practice it!