Develop the impact of your oral communication
This toolkit is designed to help you decide how you want to be perceived and why it is important to you.
- Know the ingredients for speaking with impact and charisma.
- Identify the barriers and internal dialogue that hold you back.
- Learn to reduce stress and anxiety
- Connect with your body and align with your intention
- Bringing a little magic to your speech
Speaking with impact involves activating all our resources in terms of body, mind and emotions. This fact sheet presents different ways to increase charisma to create compelling communications, overcome negative internal dialogue and anxiety and present yourself as the most impactful version of your public persona.
Whether you are speaking at a meeting with key stakeholders, presenting to the board of directors or inspiring your team at the start of a new project, your public identity and charisma are key to your professional and personal success. No matter how expert and experienced you are in your field, what you exude when you speak is what listeners take away. By aligning clarity and intent, you will increase your influence tenfold.
MISE EN PRATIQUE
Apporter de la valeur et créer une expérience mémorable et agréable dépend de divers éléments : clarté, gestion du stress et confiance en soi, charisme, capacité à captiver votre public, posture et silence.
Clarity comes from knowing your objective when you speak. What do you want to change or influence in the people you are speaking to?
If your intention and purpose are clear, it is easier to be structured and coherent.
- The 5P tool (Preparation, Presence, Posture, Passion and Participation) is a useful checklist to make sure you have everything covered.
- Preparation: Experts say that 80% of a speaker's success comes from careful preparation.
- Presence: Eye contact, energy level and concern for the audience help maintain presence and charisma.
- Posture: Standing up straight, breathing regularly, staying physically grounded strengthens your stature and intent.
- Passion : Enthusiasm and authenticity are contagious, show passion and the audience will live the experience.
- Participation: Engage the audience by inviting them to think, laugh and feel.
- The 6Q (Who, Where, What, Why, When, How?) is a great way to stay on track with your intention.
- The KISS (Keep it Short and Simple) method allows you to aim for quality rather than quantity, the key to clarity and impact.
2. Stress management and self-confidence
Overcoming the stress and anxiety associated with public speaking requires multiple approaches and is essential to generate confidence, serenity and enjoyment.
These approaches include: mindfulness, visualisation of a positive outcome, deep breathing and brain gymnastics.
Negative internal dialogue can undermine your confidence. The inner critic who whispers in your ear:
"I will come across as arrogant if I put myself forward too confidently."
"If I make a mistake, I will lose all credibility. So I will read my notes word for word and play it safe."
"I have no natural authority when I speak."
When you succumb to negative internal dialogue:
- Focus on the sensation of your breathing.
- Feel the calm flow of air as it enters and leaves your nostrils. Cool air on the inhale, warm air on the exhale.
- When you are anchored in a more stable state, create a positive internal dialogue, such as,
"I am powerful like a mountain and stable like an oak tree.
"I am feminine and worthy like a graceful giraffe.
"I am present and supple like a playful panther."
TIP: Listen to a song that gives you positive energy and makes you smile. It can be a song from your childhood or a recent song that you can't get enough of.
What is charisma? An irresistible attraction or natural charm. Being authentic and connected to yourself is the key to being charismatic. Sincerity generates confidence. Everyone has a natural charm. Think of a time when your listeners were hanging on your every word, when you were the most charismatic.
Or perhaps you have a role model who inspires you with their authenticity and natural charm.
Vary the tone of your voice according to the emotion behind your words. Your voice is your musical instrument, so play with it! Think of variations: loud or soft, fast or slow, smooth or choppy, melancholy or energetic; each conveys a mood and a feeling.
Use rhetorical devices such as sharp questions, repetition and the magic three-word rule:
o I have come, I have seen, I have conquered.
o I believe we can create, innovate and demonstrate a new way of being in this company.
TIP: Think of Martin Luther King's historic speech "I have a dream". He repeated the words "now is the time", "it's time to..." with: "lift up our nation", "bring justice " and "come out of the darkness ".
4. Capturing your audience
In addition to capturing your audience's attention by what you embody and how you use your voice and language, you can add vibrancy to what you say by using metaphors, stories and visual images. A picture is worth a thousand words.
A suggest associated with a powerful image will stay in the minds of your listeners long after they have left a meeting or presentation.
How do you connect with different styles of listeners?
It is essential to address the different personalities and preferences of your listeners. This may be their thinking style, their DISC personality or their sensory preferences.
Your physical posture embodies the qualities of your ideal public identity.
- What qualities would you like to embody? (Professional? Compassionate? Inspirational? Dynamic? Playful? ...)
- Now walk around the room holding your body and moving in a way that captures these qualities. Pretend you are an actor!
- Exaggerate them; use gestures and feel the inner sensations associated with each one.
- Then think of an image that sums up the energy of these qualities and values. It can be an animal or an element of nature, anything that helps you connect to the inner experience and feel the change in your outer posture (you may like the energy of the tiger or the energy of an archetype such as the powerful and benevolent authority of the king or queen, the determined warrior or the inspiring and playful magician).
Nothing reinforces authority like silence" - Leonardo da Vinci
Silence says much more than you think.
- For the speaker, silence, in the form of a pause, allows you to reflect, breathe, listen and hold the listener's attention.
- For your listeners, a pause before you answer a question, or after you ask a question, allows them to digest your ideas. Then the audience and the speaker can step back, reflect and feel how it affects them.
Silence also projects confidence and shows that the speaker refuses to be rushed.
Have you observed others who seem to use silence effectively? When do they use it? How long do they pause? How does it increase their impact?
You now have the ingredients for speaking with impact.