Tag Archives: Gestures

A Public Speaking Framework

(Hargie, 2016)

1.0 Framework

Public speaking and presenting are closely intertwined activities that share many similarities. They both require a speaker to carefully craft their words, visuals, vocalics, and body language in order to effectively communicate their ideas and connect with their audience. However, the key distinction lies in how these skills are used to achieve the speaker’s desired outcome.

When it comes to public speaking, the audience may be large and unknown to the speaker. To engage successfully, it is essential for the speaker to use their voice and body language dynamically, varying their tone, volume, and pace, and emphasising their words with appropriate gestures and movements. To ensure the audience can relate to the message, the speaker should craft their words carefully and carefully choose their visual aids.

On the other hand, presenting is more focused on a smaller and more familiar audience. Voice and body language are still important, but they must be adapted to suit the audience. The words used may be more technical, as the audience is more knowledgeable about the topic. Visuals are key to making the presentation engaging and helping the presenter explain their topic effectively.

Ultimately, understanding the relationship between public speaking and presenting involves examining the necessary skills and the delivery of these skills. While there are similarities, the execution of these skills must be tailored to the event, audience, and objectives for a successful outcome. By recognizing the nuances of this relationship, speakers can craft dynamic presentations that are tailored to their audience and effectively communicate their message in a way that resonates.

In future posts, we will interchange the terms public speaking and presentation skills to refer to the same abilities.

These four areas – words, visuals, vocalics, and body language – are part of the work of Hargie and Owen and are represented in the above diagram. This is the framework we will be using in future posts to better understand how we can improve our presentation skills.

Q1. Vocal/Verbal is the use of words to convey a message. This includes making the words we use either informative, persuasive, or entertaining and how they are ordered or structured.

Q2. Vocal/Nonverbal communication is the way we use our tone, volume, and inflection when speaking. This form of communication is often used to emphasize words and convey meaning.

Q3. Non-vocal/Verbal is the way we use visuals to help us communicate. This involves the use of slides, handouts and demonstrations.

Q4. Non-vocal/Nonverbal communication is the way we communicate with our body language. This can include gestures, movement, posture, facial expressions, and dress.

It’s important to be mindful that this framework divides verbal and nonverbal communication (NVC) into distinct categories. However, in reality, these skills are highly intertwined and often interdependent.

In our next post, we will discuss Q1. the vocal/verbal or the use of words to convey a message.

Ref: Hargie, O. (2016). Communicating without words: skilled nonverbal behaviour. In Skilled Interpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice. Taylor & Francis Group.

Stop Talking and Start Gesturing: 8 Ways to Make an Impact with Nonverbal Communication.

Nonverbal communication is an important part of any interpersonal interaction. It encompasses a wide range of behaviors, including gestures, facial expressions, body language, and eye contact. Nonverbal communication is often referred to as the “unspoken language” and is a powerful tool for conveying messages and emotions.

Gestures are an especially powerful form of nonverbal communication and are used to supplement verbal communication. Gestures can be used to indicate a desire or need, to show approval, or to ask for help. There are a variety of different gestures that can be used, and the specific gesture that is used will depend on the culture and context in which it is being used.

One of the most popular forms of body language and gestures used in public speaking is the Laban Eight Efforts: Punch, Slash, Dab, Flick, Press, Wring, Glide, and Float. By incorporating these movements into your presentation, you can emphasize your points and create an impactful presentation.

Below we have provided a description of each of these movements and provided a link to The Drama Coach, Lisa Southam’s YouTube channel, where you can see each of these demonstrated.

Punch Gesture

Laban Punch is a powerful gesture that involves a quick thrusting action with your arm, as if punching someone. This gesture is great for expressing anger, frustration, or intense emotion. It can also be used to emphasize the importance of a point. The Drama Coach – Punch

Slash Gesture

Slash is a gesture that involves a slicing motion with your arm. This gesture can be used to draw attention to a particular point or to suggest confidence and authority. The Drama Coach – Slash

Dab Gesture

Dab is a gesture that involves a downward motion of your arm, as if dabbing something away. This gesture is often used to express dismissal or to convey a more casual attitude. The Drama Coach – Dab

Flick Gesture

Flick is a gesture that involves a quick movement of your arm, as if flicking something away. This gesture can be used to indicate dismissal or to punctuate a point. The Drama Coach – Flick

Press Gesture

Press is a gesture that involves a pressing motion of your arm, as if pressing something down. This gesture can be used to emphasize a point or to express determination. The Drama Coach – Press

Wring Gesture

Wring is a gesture that involves twisting your arm, as if wringing something out. This gesture can be used to express frustration or to draw attention to a particular point. The Drama Coach – Wring

Glide Gesture

Glide is a gesture that involves a slow, graceful movement of your arm, as if gliding through the air. This gesture can be used to suggest a feeling of freedom or movement. The Drama Coach – Glide

Float Gesture

Float is a gesture that involves a light, floating motion of your arm, as if floating on air. This gesture can be used to express a feeling of peace or contentment. The Drama Coach – Float

By incorporating these powerful gestures into your public speaking, you can capture the attention of your audience and make your presentation memorable. With practice and confidence, you can become a more effective public speaker and make a lasting impression.

So who was Rudolph Laban?

Rudolf Laban was a Hungarian-Austrian dancer and choreographer who is known as the father of modern dance. Born in 1879, Laban was one of the most influential figures in the history of modern dance, helping to develop its scientific foundations and introducing a system of movement analysis and evaluation.

Throughout his career, Laban wrote numerous books and articles, including Kinetographie, a book on the mechanics of movement, The Movement Alphabet, a book about body language, and The Dynamics of Movement, which focused on the physics of movement. He also wrote a series of essays on the history of dance and its relationship to human behavior. Laban’s work was recognized by the International Dance Council and in 1984, he was inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame. Today, his legacy lives on through the work of his students, who continue to explore and develop the principles of modern dance.