Tag Archives: nonverbal communication

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.

Unlock the Power of Nonverbal Cues: Learn How the Right Rest Positions Can Enhance Your Presentation!

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

Speaking in front of a large group can be intimidating, and it can be challenging to understand how to use your nonverbal cues, especially body language, to effectively convey your message. Body language is an essential part of a successful presentation, and the rest positions you use are an important part of this. In this blog post, we’ll explore how the right rest positions can contribute to the success of your presentation.

There are some simple rest positions to help you feel more confident and keep your hands in check during presentations. From pretending to hold a string or pencil, to creating a tent or gate with your hands, to resting on a chair or flip chart stand, there are a variety of rest positions available. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options and discuss how to use them to the best effect when presenting.

The “String” or “Pencil” Position

This rest position is a wonderful way to feel more grounded and in control. When in this position you are less likely to fidget or wave your hands around aimlessly. To achieve this, hold an imaginary 6″ piece of string between your hands. You can move your hands but only as far as the imaginary piece of string will allow. The pencil technique entails holding an actual pencil between both hands and then perhaps utilizing it to point to a visual aid. After a period, you may decide to put the pencil down and use a different rest position. Utilize a wooden pencil here, since it doesn’t have any distracting clips or buttons to press or flick.

Remember not to hold any rest position for too long, as it may start to look unnatural. Five to ten seconds may be a good duration.

The “Tent” or “Gate” Formation

The tent is an excellent position to use when you want to rest your hands but also emphasize a particular point or add emphasis to a statement. In this position, your fingertips come together in a “tent” shape. For example, you may say “to begin, we need to reach out to our customers through various contact points.” As you say this you bring your fingertips together and hold for a brief period, resting there as you make your point.

Alternatively, your hands can be placed together in a “gate” shape with your palms facing you and your hands overlapping. Be careful here as this may be perceived as closing yourself off to your audience. As with our tent technique, use it to describe the point you are trying to make. For example, you may say “In order to ensure internet security, we need to establish levels of separation between these two processes.” As you say this you bring your hands together hold and pause until your point is made.

Resting on a Chair

This position can be used as a break from other hand gestures. It’s a casual position and is typically used for smaller group presentations where you know the audience. Put a chair to the slide of you with the seat facing away and place one hand on the back of the chair. Typically, the chair will belong to a table, rather than a random chair at the front of the room without any other function. This position is height dependent and may not work if you are tall, so make sure you rehearse it.

Resting on a Flip Chart Stand

Resting your hands on a flip chart stand or a freestanding whiteboard is another option if you are facilitating a discussion. This is a great way to take a break and to give yourself a moment to think. Simply stand next to the chart or board, put one hand on the frame facing the audience, and hold your pen in the other.

In conclusion, we know that the proper use of rest positions as part of a broader nonverbal communication strategy can help you feel more confident and in turn, will engage the audience and make your message memorable.

Harness the Power of Facial Expressions to Boost your Presentation Confidence

Facial Expression
Facial Expressions Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Giving a great public presentation is more than just having the right words – it also involves understanding the nonverbal elements of communication. Facial expressions are a key part of this, as they are one of the most powerful tools to convey emotion and have a lasting impact on our audience. In this blog post, we will explore the “seven universal expressions of emotion” and discuss how to use them effectively in public speaking. From understanding the importance of setting the right tone to connecting with your audience, we will guide you through the elements of facial expression to help you deliver an unforgettable presentation.

The seven universal expressions of emotion are happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, contempt, and disgust. Each of these emotions can be used to help you create an emotional connection with your audience. Here’s how:

The Seven Universal Expressions of Emotion

  1. Happiness: Smiling is one of the best ways to create an emotional connection with your audience. Not only does it make you seem friendly and approachable, it can also make your audience more likely to remember your presentation.
  • 2. Sadness: If you’re discussing a difficult topic, it can be hard to find the right words. But, by expressing sadness through your facial expressions, you can show your audience that you understand their pain and empathize with their situation.
  • 3. Surprise: If you’re delivering an unexpected message, surprise can be an effective tool to grab your audience’s attention. Just make sure not to overdo it, as too much surprise can make your audience uncomfortable.
  • 4. Fear: If you’re speaking about a topic that could be potentially frightening, you can use your facial expressions to convey the gravity of the situation. It can also help your audience understand the seriousness of the matter.
  • 5. Anger: If you’re trying to rouse your audience to action, anger can be a great way to express your passion and conviction. Just make sure to channel it in a positive way.
  • 6. Contempt: If you’re talking about a situation or person that deserves to be criticized, contempt can be a great way to convey your disapproval. However, be careful not to overdo it, as your audience may view it as an attack.
  • 7. Disgust: If you’re discussing a particularly unpleasant topic, disgust can be an effective tool to communicate your revulsion. Just be sure to use it sparingly, as too much disgust can turn your audience off.

By understanding the seven universal expressions of emotion, you can use facial expressions to create an emotional connection with your audience. This will help you deliver a memorable and impactful presentation. So the next time you’re giving a presentation, remember to use facial expressions to set the tone and connect with your audience.

What’s the science behind this?

The seven universal expressions of emotion, as identified by renowned psychologists Paul Ekman and David Matsumoto, are a set of universal facial expressions that are used by all human beings regardless of culture and language. These seven expressions are the basis of nonverbal communication and are considered to be the core of facial expressions and emotions.

As discussed above the seven facial expressions that Ekman and Matsumoto have identified as universal are as follows: happiness, anger, surprise, fear, disgust, contempt, and sadness. Each of these expressions has a distinct appearance, which can be easily recognized by people from different countries and cultures.

It is important to note that these expressions do not always have the same meaning in different cultures and contexts. While a smile may indicate happiness in one context, in a different context it may represent something entirely different. This is why Ekman and Matsumoto stress the importance of being able to recognize the subtle differences in facial expressions and their meanings.

In order to properly recognize these seven expressions, it is important to observe the whole face and not just focus on a single feature. For example, a person may have a smile on their face, but if they are frowning or their eyes are narrow, the smile may not be an expression of joy. By looking at the whole face, it is easier to determine the true emotion that the person is feeling.

Over the years, Ekman and Matsumoto have conducted extensive research on the seven universal expressions of emotion. They have found that these expressions are universal and can be found in all cultures. They also found that these expressions are strongly influenced by the culture and context in which a person is located.

In addition to the seven universal expressions of emotion, Ekman and Matsumoto have also identified several other facial expressions that are more specific to a particular culture or context. These include expressions related to embarrassment, pride, and surprise.

Overall, the seven universal expressions of emotion identified by Ekman and Matsumoto provide an important insight into nonverbal communication. By understanding these expressions, people can better understand what emotions are being communicated to them and have a better understanding of how to respond in a given situation.

Here are two videos that further explain the seven universal expressions of emotion

Exploring Facial Expressions with Paul Ekman

Are facial expressions learned or innate? Dr. David Matsumoto

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.