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25 February 2014

3 tips on how communicate confidently & not like Lance Armstrong

In the second part of the blog I began last week, we can begin to learn how to have more confidence and congruence as a presenter, compared to how Lance Armstrong seems to come across.  As a reminder, Lance Armstrong’s admission of doping is difficult to watch:

As a result, there are things we can learn about how to improve our own communications from Armstrong’s mistakes:

Body language.  A good presenter has deliberate body language that reflects what they are communicating.  There are archetypal body language positions e.g. when someone’s won a gold medal at Sochi, look how many times they threw their hands in the air or punched the air.

So, think about how your body language communicates what you are saying.  If you want to be open, smile & make eye contact and have your arms and legs uncrossed.  Practice, do it in front of a mirror, even film yourself.  The best in the business do. President Clinton rehearsed key interviews for up to 3 days beforehand to look spontaneous.

If you want to get really good at this, do some research into ‘Satir’ categories.  There is a brilliant book called ‘Presenting Magically’ by our co-founder, David Shephard and which covers all of this.

Listening to how Lance Armstrong talks during his admission seems to convey pure coldness, through its speed and apparent lack of emotion, when of course, he could have been very emotional.  There are broadly three ways to convey tonality.  You have to make sure you choose the right one for your situation:

  • Questioning tonality – by raising your inflection (like an Australian) at the end of sentence, you will make people think you’re asking a question
  • Command tonality – by dropping your tone, at the end of a sentence you be conveying a command and demonstrating authorit
  • Conversational tonality – perhaps obvious and this is where the end of the sentence is neutral

Whilst the least important aspect of communication at only 7%, choosing the right words to go in conjunction with your tone and body language is vital.  You wouldn’t tell someone some bad news with appropriately grave body language with the words ‘great’.  There are two excellent books on this:

The Elements of eloquence – Mark Forsyth
Words that work – Frank Luntz

There’s a lot we can all do to improve how we communicate.  And being really good at presenting is something it’s possible to get confidence in via our hypnotherapy for confidence sessions, as part of our hypnotherapy in London programme*.

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