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Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a boutique marketing and sales consulting firm. He has delighted audiences around the world helping them achieve better business outcomes and accelerate their revenue with highly effective written, spoken, and social media communications. With over 25 years of experience, he is a sought-after global speaker, columnist, consultant, and executive coach. Twitter @chiefstorytellr youtube.com/user/IraKoretskySpeaker
Do you think about what you say when talking? Of course you do. Do you think about your voice and your body language as well? Few people do. When you speak, you are using your words, voice, and body. For most people, the blending of these components comes natural.
What doesn’t come natural is how to purposefully use each of these three separately and together to heighten drama, improve rapport, emphasize points, and a lot more…
Going forward, I’d like to encourage you to think differently and think deliberately about how you use your words, voice, and body. For this tip, let’s focus on body language and how to build suspense.
Next time you are going to share a story or experience with a known moment of suspense, use your body deliberately rather than naturally. Complement your words and voice to heighten the dramatic moment.
At a high level, you are looking to add intensity to your words with your body. Adding intensity makes your story more interesting and memorable.
Experiment, mix, and test to find the ones that work best for you and your story.
1) Posture: Stand straight up and really stiffen your body like a wood board. Perhaps even clench your jaw
2) Make a Fist: Squeeze your hands and make them into fists
3) Eyes: Open them wide, really wide and at the same time, slightly move your head and
4) Arms: Make exaggerated arm motions while stopping “abruptly,” almost as if your arm was momentarily like a robot
5) Watch other speakers and presenters. Watch how how the speaker uses his/her body. Would you do the same thing? What would you do differently? Free resources include TED, TEDx, University Business Schools (e.g., Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford), Company Speaker Series (Google and LinkedIn), Political Speeches, and more.
6) Blend: As you become comfortable using the above techniques, deliberately alternate and blend these suspense techniques together.
While working with a client, I discovered something quite amazing and funny. Here’s what happened (short story version)…
My engagement was to help Ed (name changed) and his executive team to improve their influence and thought leadership. One of the easy fixes was to update their much-to-casual photos. In turn, the photos would be posted to touch points like their website, LinkedIn®, Twitter, blog, etc. I encouraged Ed to hire a professional photographer.
My next meeting with Ed was focused on his LinkedIn profile. I went to the website and downloaded his new photo, which looked the first picture below (I posed for this picture to protect confidentiality).
After downloading, I opened the picture in Photoshop to crop and post to LinkedIn®. I then laughed and laughed loudly. I now saw Ed’s entire original photo. Business on top and party on the bottom with his casual blue jeans and somethings in the background that should not have been there. A thought then popped into my head …was this true for everyone? Yes, all six executive bio pages.
What the designer did was take the quick approach by simply changing the HTML code to display a certain part of the image. The designer did not think the situation through as to the possibility a visitor would download the picture. And Ed went the route of asking one of his employees who was an aspiring photographer to take the pictures.
The moral of this story is…validate your visuals -- photographs for the web, visuals for presentations, pictures for Instagram, preview photos for social media sites, and the list goes on.
Cultural differences are sometimes easy to see, understand, and adopt. Others, not to easy.
If you are traveling to another country or interacting with an audience with different cultural backgrounds, be sensitive to language, humor, traditions, and taboos.
For this tip of the week, let’s focus on hand gestures. There are many nuanced and obvious hand gesture differences. Research the country thoroughly to avoid embarrassment as well as the potential for your audience to focus on the "wrong" things rather than your message and you.
Purchase books, ask your local embassy for advice, and use your network to meet/talk with people who grew up in the respective country.
Here are two illustrative examples with answers immediately below.
A few weeks ago, Bhavesh Bhagat from Confident Governance, and I co-presented a keynote presentation at the annual ISACA DC conference. ISACA is an association of IT, Audit, Security & Risk Management, and Cyber professionals. Its roots go back to 1967. More information on ISACA below.
I met Bhavesh at an Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) two-day event where I was presenting a variety of programs on the elevator speech/value proposition, LinkedIn Makeover, and Media Relations.
Over the coming months, we created a different kind of "technology" presentation titled, "Awakening the Hidden 'Risk Giant' in You."
And I do mean different.
- kicked the keynote off sharing a personal story of his time at The Grand Bretgane in Athens, Greece
- talked about the absence of Pluto from our solar system
- shared his outlook on life as a musician and how it positively affects his views as an ISACA professional
- showed a video clip from Daito Manabe's Elevenplay Dance Performance with Drones (yes, drones)
- shared a personal story about my time in Egypt at the famous Sphinx and how that relates to brand and personal recognition
- showed a video clip that epitomized what not do in a presentation
- redefined word clouds into message clouds and how they can benefit you in determining your message
- emphasized the importance of "changing the conversation" (meaning change your messages and personal and organizational stories) to effect change in your organization
I had a great time at the conference. And want to thank Bhavesh again for his invitation to co-present.
From the ISACA website: "Today, ISACA’s constituency—more than 140,000 strong worldwide—is characterized by its diversity. Constituents live and work in more than 180 countries and cover a variety of professional IT-related positions—to name just a few, IS auditor, consultant, educator, IS security professional, regulator, chief information officer and internal auditor. Some are new to the field, others are at middle management levels and still others are in the most senior ranks. They work in nearly all industry categories, including financial and banking, public accounting, government and the public sector, utilities and manufacturing. This diversity enables members to learn from each other, and exchange widely divergent viewpoints on a variety of professional topics. It has long been considered one of ISACA’s strengths."
Did you see the new change from LinkedIn on messaging group members?
While in a specific Groups, you'll see this subheading to the right of your screen, "Changes for messaging group members." Underneath this subheading it reads, "We've updated the rules for messaging the Out of Network members in your Groups to prevent abuse. To read more about how we've improved Groups, visit our Help Center."
At a high-level, the new policy means you may only message a maximum of 15 people outside of your connected network per month across all of your groups.
Here's the text from the policy change:
Communicating with a Fellow Group Member
How do I send a message to a group member and allow them to contact me?
Last Reviewed: 06/18/2015
You can send a message to a group member without being connected, and adjust your Member Message settings from within the group. However, there are limits:
1. You can send 15 free 1:1 group messages to fellow group members each month. This limit is set for all the groups you belong to and not for each group individually. If you go over the limit, you'll see an error message until the next month begins.
- Unsent messages don't carry over to the next month. This limit includes messages sent directly from a group, to your 1st degree connections.
- Only the original message is counted towards the limit. Any back-and-forth replies from either party won’t count towards the 15 message allotment.
- If you need to send more messages for recruiting, promoting, or connecting with members outside your network, we offer many alternatives. Please check out our Premium accounts or Recruiter product options which include InMail messages and recruiting tools to make the most of LinkedIn.
2. You have to be a member of a group for at least 4 days.
3. You have to be a member of LinkedIn for at least 30 days in order to send messages to fellow group members.
To send a free message directly to a group member:
* From the member list
- Move your cursor over Interests at the top of your homepage and select Groups.
- Click the group's name.
- Click the number of members in the group near the top right.
- Click the Send message link under the member's name. This link will appear only if the member's settings allow them to be contacted by other group members.
- Your inbox will appear.
- Create your message and click Send Message.
* Privately reply to a discussion someone posted
- Click the Dropdown icon next to the discussion.
- Click Reply privately.
- Your inbox will appear.
- Create your message and click Send Message.
If you're an owner, manager or moderator of a group, you can also message members from the Manage tab under Participants.
Managers have the same limits as members, but owners/managers also have access to templated/automated messages under the Manage tab to explain why a member was declined from joining a group.
Owners can use these templates to control automated messages that are triggered by a 'Request to join' or 'Decline' action. Learn more about managing message templates for your group. Learn about adjusting your Group Member Messages settings.