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Don't neglect the physical when giving a speech

Remember your mother's advice when giving a speech
Remember your mother's advice when giving a speech
Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images

It was a typical scene on a typical day. The room was filled with a number of people, all engaged in various forms of motion with various gadgets. Around them hovered people with stopwatches, clipboards and other signs of recordkeeping. Most everyone was pleasant although some would occasionally grimace with a twinge of pain.

As you have already surmised, I am describing a rehabilitation facility. People are here at the direction of a physician after an accident, a surgical procedure, or a diagnosis of a lingering problem.

The goal of course, is to get back to normal. However, normal may be a new state for some of the patients. A lifetime of poor posture may have manifested in back pain. The performance of an athletic move may have been learned in an off-balance position.

The therapists are tough but fair, demanding yet pleasant. In many ways it is their job to be a teacher, coach and cheerleader all in one. Their motivation strategies would help any team; whether in sports or business. Overheard during one session was a patient saying, "I can't". The response was brilliant, "Sir, that is not a word in this building."

Most of the therapy consists of returning the body to a natural state. In other words, carrying oneself with an erect carriage, weight properly supported by the correct body part.

What that looks like to the untrained eye is interesting. A person of deliberate, erect and balanced carriage shows a body language of confidence, self assurance and maybe even success.

There is no sense of threat but there is no sense of fear either.

This simple bit of physicality can greatly improve your presentation and speaking skills. The audience will sense confidence and vigor (an old fashioned word that was greatly used by turn of the century success advisors).

The audience will perk up, maybe even display body language signs of interest and enthusiasm which in turn will add to the energy dynamic of the speaker.

So remember your mother's advice, "Stand up straight!" and watch your presentations score high among your peers!

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