4 Ways to Become a Charismatic Speaker

(guest post)

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Communicating your presentation idea alone won’t be enough to convince your audience. You should also have the charismatic appeal to enhance your credibility and complement your central message.

A likeable image is what leaves them swayed, in awe, and wanting more. It attracts people’s interest and engages them to listen, thus, helping business relationships to nourish.

If you want to project credibility and win everyone’s trust, then work on boosting your likeability factor. Here are four ways to send your charisma up through the roof.

1. Develop a Speaking Voice

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There’s a link between voice and speaker credibility. In fact, a voice quality study conducted by Christer Gobl and Ailbhe Chasaide of Trinity College, explains that it plays a big role in signifying a person’s attitude, mood, and emotion.

This suggests that a speaker’s voice has the power to influence the audience’s perception towards him. Training your voice to sound more charismatic is a sure way to appear and sound compelling.

Know when to vary your speaking style. If the discussion touches a serious topic, it’s ideal to project a professional tone. You don’t want to mislead people with irrelevant ideas just to kill the boredom. It’s disgraceful to joke around the presentation room, especially when you’re supposed to discuss an important matter.

However, there are cases where you need to break the solemnity and poke some fun: Play with your vocal pitch, volume, and speech rate to keep connected with the audience. Use happy tones for lighthearted pitches, and enthusiastic tones for convincing investors.

When someone shares a brilliant idea that you found significant to your message, acknowledge it with a raising yet a calm tone.

The power of voice is immense in speech communication. Develop an effective speaking voice to charm people into persuasion.

2. Use Effective Body Language

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Speakers who are naturally friendly have the advantage in charming people effortlessly. Most of them make themselves look approachable not only by the way they speak, but also by the way they move people through body language.

Use hand and body gestures to communicate with the audience. Never cross your arms or legs to avoid appearing cheeky and unwelcoming. Doing this helps you be in command, making it easier for you to connect yourself and your message with others.

Also, smile at people to make them feel the warmth of your sincerity. Let the good vibe emanate from you to persuade them in buying your ideas.

Avoid making negative facial expressions like smiling with your eyebrows. Expressions like this only kills the congenial feel of your business. Always maintain a professional reaction to influence people more effectively.

3. Dress Aptly and Professionally

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People can form their first impression towards a person by just looking on how he looks. This is why dressing the part is important when delivering business presentations. After all, physical appearance is one of the subtle things that makes a person alluring and fascinating to the eyes.

Wearing appropriate and professional attire increases your personal presence and charisma. So make sure to check your appearance from head to toe because your presentation wardrobe can draw audience attention.

Always opt for a dress code that’s appropriate in the situation and in the industry. Stay away from stylish hairstyles, baggy clothes, and off-putting accessories, especially if the presentation requires formality. Also, avoid bright colours or busy prints to keep your audience from getting distracted.

Your business attire delivers an unspoken language, which is crucial in your pitch’s success. Pull-off a look that accentuates your style while recognizing its possibilities and limitations.

4. Tap into People’s Emotions

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Emotions and memory both share an important role to each other. Look at it this way: a story without emotions won’t hold long in people’s memory.

With this in mind, tapping into people’s emotions during your business speech must be a key priority. It’s impossible to please everyone and make them buy your side if emotions aren’t brought into a narrative.

Share relevant stories that will touch their hearts. It can be a personal experience—good or bad—that has helped you hone your skills and manage your weaknesses. Then, relate it to some points of your presentation.

Let the audience speak their minds and have an opinion about the subject. Make them feel your sense of emotion, enthusiasm, and conviction to keep your audience enthralled with you and what you can offer to them.

Get it Done: Be Likeable, Be Credible

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If you want to win over a business audience, you need to charm them with manner and style. Charisma is what engages people to listen and react. Here’s a recap on how to increase your charm rating:

Improve your voice. Develop a speaking voice that’s appropriate to the situation. Play with your vocal pitch, tone, and volume depending on the situations.

Use body language effectively. Support your speech with hand and body movements. This helps you boost an approachable image, which is necessary to build connections with the audience.

Dress professionally. Plan your presentation wardrobe to be professional as much as possible. Avoid appearing overdressed or underdressed to make great first impressions.

Tap into emotions. Touch people’s hearts with personal stories that they can relate with. This makes your speech memorable, which helps you establish long-lasting business relationships with them.

References

Author Bio

Rick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius, Inc., a global presentation design agency. He regularly publishes expert presentation tips on the SlideGenius blog. He currently oversees an experienced team of designers, software developers, and marketing professionals that specialize in creating custom corporate presentations and cloud publishing applications. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

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What I talk about when I talk about running

ImagesHaruki Murakami is best known as the author of “Norwegian Wood”, and the “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” – and many other books. If you haven’t read his books I highly recommend you check them out. But recently I discovered that he is a long-distance runner as well and has written about his running.

I have just finished “What I talk about when I talk about running”, and It is excellent. As a runner I related completely to his journey, his challenges and successes, his apprehension and self-doubt before races, and the acceptance of the unpredictability of marathon-length races.

The philosophy he bring to running – that you need to be as healthy as possible to be effective at what you do, and how maintaining health (in his case by running and doing triathlons), needs to be balanced with what you do. To be mentally sharp and focused requires a healthy body.

He says:

To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible. That’s my motto. In other words, an unhealthy soul requires a healthy body. This might sound paradoxical, but it’s something I’ve felt very keenly ever since I became a professional writer. The healthy and the unhealthy are not necessarily at opposite ends of the spectrum. They don’t stand in opposition to each other, but rather complement each other, and in some cases even band together. Sure, many people who are on a healthy track in life think only of good health, while those who are getting unhealthy think only of that. But if you follow this sort of one-sided view, your life won’t be fruitful.
Almost everything he had to share could have been written by me, or for me. Although I am convinced that any long-distance runner would feel exactly the same.

It is a short and easy read, but a book to be dipped into, reread and digested over time. To get full enjoyment from the book you probably have to enjoy running, but there is plenty to learn regardless of what get you up in the morning.

Book review: The Healthy Programmer.

The Healthy ProgrammerThis book is a practical guide for computer programmers (or any office worker) who want to get more fit and healthy. While the book is clearly geared towards computer programmers, it would only take a minor adjustment to call it something like “The Healthy Office Worker”. While the book uses the Agile programing methodology as a framework, (sprints, retrospectives, unit testing etc), the contents are relevant to anybody spending most of their work days sitting at a computer.

The book goes into a lot of detail, and is full of references, real life stories about programmers that have become more healthy, and practical goals and actions. While it is easy to read, it is detailed and comprehensive, covering topics such as workspace setup, diet, back and wrist pain, exercise and headaches.

The danger is that with so much detail and 19 practical goals, you may be a little overwhelmed. Having said that they are excellent goals and I think you should pick the ones that will work for you and not strive for all 19. One thing that did annoy me is the rather old fashioned notion of counting calories/reducing calories to lose weight. I personally believe that provided you eat the right calories you can eat as much you like and forget about the quantity of calories (basically high fat low carb). This approach has personally worked for me.

The book comes with a free iPhone app (I did not check it out but it is rated 4+), as well as a discussion forum on which the author comments.

Is it worth reading ?- yes most definitely (even if you are not a programer).
Is it going to improve your health and fitness? Well that is up to you.

You can buy the book here, the ebook is $24.

Disclaimer: I was given a free review copy, and I run 20km+ races on a regular basis.

Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to publish a book

APE CoverAuthor, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to publish a book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch

Although I would like to publish an ebook at some stage, it is not something that I am looking at doing right now, so the review copy on my Kindle sat there for quote a while before I got to browsing through it. When I eventually got to it, I read the entire book cover to cover in a single day.

This book is for anybody who has or is considering writing, publishing and distribution an ebook, and will save you hours of time and frustration. I have always thought the process of creating an ebook is pretty simple, but there is far more involved that I ever considered.

This book goes into a lot of detail describing the different publishing models, pitfalls to look out for (you will need more than 1 ISBN number), and plenty on the technical aspects of creating a functional and working ebook

There are plenty of links to online resources, including tons of free information on the book site itself (http://apethebook.com/), such as Microsoft Word templates, sample contracts and external links (there are over 350 hyperlinks in the book).

At just under 400 pages it is easy to get through, but it has tons of useful information. If you are planning on wrinting an ebook, I highly recommend you buy it and skim through it before you write a single word, and then jump into the details as you work through the different stages of creating and publishing your book.

Highly recommended, and at less than $10 for the Kindle version, a steal.

Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds

mindfireBook review: Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds – Scott Berkun.

This eclectic series of short essays discusses ideas, questions and concepts that make you think. Sometimes he challenges conventional thinking (why being a follower can be good), and other times he just questions our actions (should you pray for your team to win), there is some advice. And the rest of the time it is just plain interesting.

If you are looking for new ideas, or to find a different take on old idea, you will enjoy this book. As a Toastmasters, there are some great ideas for your next speech.

Some of the ideas discussed are:

  • The cult of busy
  • Why you must lead or follow
  • The size of ideas
  • How to keep your mouth shut

Many of the essay’s are on Scott’s website, so you can check them out before you buy the book.
http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/

This book is kind of a “Chicken Soup for the Philosophical Soul”, and gives you interesting ideas to consider, without being too complex or deep (most of the stories are only a page or two, but the could be expanded into longer essays or books). If I had to criticise, I would like to see some more depth to some of the articles, I feel that sometimes he is just touching the tip of some very complex idea.

But then to contradict myself, it is refreshing to read a chapter that gets my brain engaged, but is only a few hundred words long.

The entire book is just short of 200 pages, but I don’t think that I would read it cover to cover. For me it is a book that you jump into from time to time, find an interesting chapter and read it. They are the kind of chapters that you can re-read a few times.
You can buy the print or Kindle version from Amazon.com for just under $11.

I’m feeling lucky – book review

I’m Feeling Lucky. The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59

Doug Edwards

This book is for anybody looking for an inside view into the growth of one of the biggest brands in the world. Marketers, techies or anybody wanting to learn what it is like working at Google should ready this book. He tells a personal story, describing his own misgivings, challenges and successes as an early employee. He describes the people culture, technical and marketing challenges, and the chaotic and crazy startup days.

The book provides Insights into Google as it grew from startup to large business, and provides some valuable lessons to take into our own organisations. For example, make decisions quickly, but made key decisions.

While the book provides a very detailed and almost daily account of his work, it is sometimes almost too detailed (I sometimes felt a little like I was reading the minutes of every discussion and meeting at Google). If you just want to find out about Google, there are plenty of shorter and easier to read books. But if you are looking for a personal and detailed account for life at Google, this is a great book, and worth reading.

You can pre-order from Amazon.com

Grow your Voice to Speak with Confidence

Grow your Voice to Speak with Confidence

Dr Petro Janse van Vuuren

This book discusses aspects of public speaking that we often neglect, and that is using your voice as an effective tool to get your message across.  Instead of telling you how to structure your presentation, how to use the stage or to use body language, she focuses understanding, developing and using the core muscles required to have an effective speaking voice.

It is a little like a Pilates or Yoga course for developing your speaking voice. It is written in 6 chapters, each building on the previous chapter to help you to develop your speaking voice. The accompanying CD takes you through the physical and vocal exercise in the book. While the exercise are good for developing the core muscles (hence my Pilates comment), they are also good for general warm-up (thinking about it they remind me of choir warm-up exercises from high school).

Dr van Vuuren has plenty of experience in the theatre, and many case studies to backup her approach. The book is for sale on her website for R190. You can find out more about her book and workshops on her website.

This is a good book to compliment traditional public speaking training, and I see a place in my bookshelf for it.

Book review: Obstacle Illusions

Obstacle Illusions: Transforming Adversity into Success.

Stephen J. Hopson was born deaf but quickly learned to speak and began attending public school. At five years old, he told his parents he would become a pilot and was dismissed as being foolish, but as an adult he made aviation history by becoming the world’s first deaf instrument-rated pilot.

He says “As a transformational speaker, my audiences expect no less from me. When I’m up there on the platform, I have a huge responsi-bility to bring forth ideas and concepts that have the potential to truly transform lives but if I try to be someone else then the mes-sage gets lost. The audience subconsciously turns a deaf ear.”

Having a blind wife exposes me to many disabled speakers that have achieved despite having a disadvantage in life. This is not just another life-story written by a disabled person.

In the preface, Stephen says that it can be read in a single sitting, and he is right. It is not a long book, and it is very easy reading. However, it is the type of book that you keep going back to. Rather than writing a chronology of his entire life, he presents his message through a series of 25 vignettes, each describing what he learned through something that had happened to him (and often things that he caused to happen). Each chapter ends with a something to think on, and a reflective exercise on how you can apply the lessons that he has learned to your own life.

Stephen is a remarkable person, and he has written a remarkable book. The stories are inspirational, and perfect to put your own perspective back on track. You can buy it from Amazon.com for $16.10, or find out more about Stephen on his website.

Book Review: Everyone Communicates, few connect by John Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, few Connect by John Maxwell

Published by Thomas Nelson

***look below for a free copy – contest closed

Many of us have intentions to read more self-development books, but by the end of the work-day we are simply too tired, so we end up in front of the TV or reading a light novel.

This book is one of those that you can pick up at the end of the day. It is filled with stories and anecdotes drawn from his own experience and from others; all of which illustrate the points that he is trying to make. The story telling style makes it easy reading; yet still a book of substance. This is typical of what I have come to expect from his other books. At 250 pages it is not a long read, but you can always go back to it again and again.

The main premise of the book is that while we spend a huge amount of time communicating, we are not necessarily making the right effective connections that are crucial to effective communication and leadership.

The book is divided into two main sections; principles and practices. It is self explanatory, but he gives a few simple principles on making better and effective connections, and then shows how to implement them.

The book is aimed at anybody wishing to make better connections; and could be applied in both your personal or business life. He gives simple tips at the end of chapter, divided into three main areas, namely one-on one, a group or an audience.

For the public speakers out there; some great tips (and affirmation of some things you already know), for those of you in corporate business, some tips on working with colleagues, in teams at or in a group environment, such as at meetings. And one-on one communication is important to us all.

An unusual feature of the book is that John Maxwell posted the manuscript of the book on his blog www.johnmaxwellonleadership.com, and he received over 100,000 view over eleven weeks, resulting in over 70 quotes, stories and anecdotes from readers which resulted in over 100 revisions. Every contributor is acknowledged in the book.

I am a fan of John Maxwell, so it is difficult to be unbiased, but as a communicator and public speaker, this is a great book, and it is going to help you to become even better.

It is available from Amazon in hardback for $17.15.

The folks at Thomas Nelson have kindly provided 5 free copies to readers. Leave you name in the comment section below, and I will randomly draw 5 names on 28 July who will each receive a copy.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the (signed) review copy.

Hackers: book review

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution – 25th Anniversary Edition Steven Levy

The book provides an interesting view of the history and growth of computers, seeing through the eyes of the hackers; the somewhat elusive group of people that have never cared much for contention, have pushed the limits of both computing hardware and software, and have at the same time engage in headed and headstrong arguments about computers, hardware and software.

The book discusses three main groups of hackers, representing the early era’s of modern computing. The first were the group of mainframe hackers bases at MIT in the 50’s an 60’s, using computing time on the hulking mainframes, trying to get the monolithic batch-processing machines to bend to their will.

The second group were the so-called hardware hackers; a group of hardware junkies at Berkeley, figuring out how to assemble pieces hardware to create their own working computers in the 70’s. This was the days of Alteir, the beginning of Intel and Steve Wozniak (who created the original Apple and Apple II).

The final group focuses largely on computer games; an industry which sprung up in the 80’s with the proliferation of arcade games, and the mass movement of computers into people’s homes.

While the book is not specifically written for computer junkies, it is far more interesting for the hackers (or at least want-to-be hackers) out there. Somebody without a passionate interest in computers or programming would probably get a little board with the level of detail.

However, for those like me who work the field, it is a fascinating story of some eccentric people that literally shaped the computing world as we know it today. While there is a strong focus on the development of Apple, and the gaming world for the Apple (at least in the second half), there is very little mention of the IBM/Microsoft route, and the development of applications and games for the so-called PC world. This almost reflects the modern Apple/PC divide.

While at times I find the book little verbose, it is nonetheless a fascinating story. The edition I read was a 25’th anniversary edition of the book, which was originally published in 1985, a testimony to the longevity of the book. Well worth reading.

Thanks to the folks at O’Reilly for the review copy.