Wordless Communication aka Body Language

There is a language that we all speak, but few are conscious of: the language of our bodies.

When we are talking to others – either face-to-face, or from the front of the room, our posture, gestures, eye movements and general demeanor communicate far more than our words.

If you are unconsciously giving out the wrong signals, the meaning behind your intended message will be weakened or lost.

Body language is a vast, fascinating subject, but from a business point of view, there are several pointers that can help to strengthen your message. The aim is to match your audience’s unconscious template of what makes a person trustworthy and believable.

1. Personal Space

Everybody has a personal space threshold. Generally, Americans and Northern Europeans prefer to stand about a meter (3 feet) apart. People from Southern European and Asian countries are comfortable a little closer. Folks who live in rural areas like a little more space. Social situations allow closer proximities than non-social.

Be aware if the person you are talking to is backing up, and try not to intrude on their territory.

2. Eye Movements

Many people are nervous about making eye contact – it is vital to overcome that fear if you want to be respected and believed. An evasive or indirect gaze sends out a strong signal of untrustworthiness.

When speaking to a room full of people, it is essential that you allow yourself to make – and maintain for a few seconds – eye contact with everyone in the room, over and over.

3. Appearance

Experts say that the first five seconds of a meeting are more important than the next hour. Check all the obvious things like hair, teeth, fingernails, shoes, breath, immediately before the meeting. But also make sure you are putting on your best front, well in advance.

Even if the dress code is casual, there is a world of difference between dirty jeans and a crumpled T-shirt, and freshly laundered casual trousers and a polo shirt. Remember – dress to respect yourself and you automatically respect your audience.

4. Hands

Your hands are like semaphore flags. They send a message whatever position they are in.

Take a look at prominent politicians – they almost all use their hands to reinforce their words sending visual signals directly to the right-brain of the listener to augment the words which normally address the left-brain.

You have to think of your hands and arms as every bit as important as the charts and slides you are presenting.

There are five places your hands can comfortably be:

– 1. In your pockets. Don’t do it! It might feel natural, but the signal this gives is anything but. You will look uncomfortable, casual and unsure of yourself.

– 2. Clasped behind your back. This looks aloof and superior, and should be avoided.

– 3. Relaxed, by your side. This feels very unnatural to most people, but actually looks good to the audience. It makes you seem to lack tension.

– 4. On your hips. This is a very positive position. It sends out a message that you are comfortable and self- assured. Don’t overdo it. This stance is best used at moments when you stop speaking and are allowing the audience a moment to absorb your message.

– 5. Gesticulating. Learn the messages that your hands convey and use them to emphasize your points: an open hand denotes honesty; a closed fist, aggression or evasion; a pointing finger, hostility. Also be aware of cultural differences. The American thumb and forefinger gesture meaning ‘okay’ may be insulting in Denmark.

5. Read the Room

You are not the only one who is communicating non-verbally. Learn to recognize the unconscious signals that your audience is feeding back to you.
* A tilted head and direct eye contact indicates attentive approval.
* Raised eyebrows and forward-leaning posture denotes attentive alertness.
* Indirect gaze, accompanied by pen or finger biting show uncertainty.
* Folded arms can indicate hostility.
* A hand to the chin show that you are being summed up.

Finally, learn constantly. Whenever you watch a presenter, try to work out why they are good or bad. Every time you make a presentation, try to detach yourself and see how you can be even better next time.

Adapted from Martin Avis – “Do You Shout Even When You Are Silent”

Be aware of what you “say” even when you aren’t speaking!

Fran Watson

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You Too Can Be A Public Speaker

Have you ever watched a speaker and said, “Wow, I wish I could speak like that”? or “That person was just so wonderful. I could never do that.” Well, I’ve got some good news for you. You too can be a public speaker. Public speaking is a learned skill, so anyone can do it. You just need to follow some simple steps and practice, practice, practice. If you know how to talk, you can become a public speaker.

Becoming really good at public speaking requires some risk, but you have been taking risks all your life. When you were a toddler, you risked falling down when you took your first steps. You risk scraping your knees or falling when you start roller blading. You risk falling off when you start bike riding. You risk being rejected when you ask someone out on a date, and you risk getting into an accident every time you drive your car.

If you gave up after your first fall, you’d still be crawling. If you were afraid to fall off your bike, you’d still be riding with training wheels. If you were afraid of getting into an accident, you’d never get behind the wheel of a car. And guess what, you’re still here – you’ve survived all of that. You’re a risk taker!! The greatest fear is that of public speaking and here you are – wanting to learn how to do it.

Do you enjoy watching figure skating? Now, you wouldn’t expect to be a world class figure skater the minute you put on a pair of skates, would you? No, you’d expect to have to practice for years before becoming that good. Nor would you expect to make the NHL without years and years of winter and summer hockey.

How about watching racing? Would you expect to be another Mario Andretti the minute you get behind the wheel? Now, I will admit that there seem to be a few drivers out there who think they are Mario, but most people would expect to have to practice for years before reaching his status.

When you think of walking 25 miles, it seems like a long distance, but it is actually only putting one foot in front of the other a number of times and you know how to do that. It just takes practice to go the distance. It’s the same thing with public speaking. It just takes putting one word after another.

The key to getting up in front of an audience is believing that you have something to share with them that may make a difference in their lives – by entertaining them, warning them, encouraging them, or giving them direction or information.

The great thing is – you do have something to say that people would be interested in hearing. You have come through life in a special way. You may have encountered difficult circumstances and survived. Your experience could help someone else in the same situation.

If you remember jokes or enjoy telling stories to your friends, practice a little more and soon you can be telling your jokes and stories to larger audiences. If you are really good at something, consider sharing the steps of how you got there.

If you join a Toastmasters club and follow the steps outlined in the Toastmasters’ manuals, and with the encouragement of fellow Toastmasters, you can learn how to craft a speech and how to deliver it. You can learn how to use props, how to modulate your voice, and how to use words that your audience will understand.

At Toastmasters you will often hear the words “stage time” used. That is the only way to get better. In order to be good at anything, you have to practice. Winston Churchill overcame a speech impediment to become a master orator. He had to practice for hours to deliver a speech.

You can get very discouraged if you expect to be as good as Zig Ziglar right away. But if you listen to his story, you will find that it took a very long time before he was able to do what he does so well.

The thing to remember is that the only person you need to compare yourself to is you. You are working for your personal best, so when you are preparing your speech and practicing, all you need to ask yourself is – is your second speech better in some way than your first? Did you learn something new as you prepared for your speech?

Did you learn something from the evaluative comments of others after you gave your speech? Then, that’s all you need to do. You can use what you’ve learned to make the next speech your best to date and then use the same process for each speech you give. Just take one step at a time.

Remember, public speaking is a skill, so anyone can learn to do it. You just need to be taught how and then practice, practice, practice. Then one day someone may watch you and say, “Wow, I wish I could speak like that.”

To your good health!!

Fran Watson, Consultant
Sign up here for my FREE Speaker’s Ezine

Your Name:
Your E-Mail:

Powered by GetResponse email marketing software

Posted in advice, howto, public speaking | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Giveaway

Here is an opportunity for you to try out a variety of products at no cost. Seems like there must be some kind of catch doesn’t it, but in truth, there isn’t. Well, maybe that’s not quite true. The thing is there are SO MANY wonderful products the catch is it is difficult to choose what will be of most benefit to you.

Take your time and peruse them, but not too much time, you only have until the weekend. I have included some of my tips on public speaking in this bundle and some of my friends have provided some wonderful training and more. Here is my affiliate link for you to get this bundle. http://laptoplifestyleyouniversity.com/amember/aff/go/fran_watso?i=5

Angela has truly done something special here. She’s brought together a members-only offer where members of her YOUniversity have contributed true paid products (not freebies) at one low price. There are over 40 contributors, $2000 worth of products and so much value. You can grab this for absolutely no cost decide what you’d love best.

Angela also suggests you DO NOT by any means try to use ALL these products. There’s far too much included for that. What you want to do is pick and choose the things that will help you move your business forward NOW. Don’t worry about the rest. Offers will come again, don’t worry about FOMO, you’ll invest in your business at the right time and you just have to trust in what will be will be.  

I hope you find something you really love. I know I have.

Fran Watson

#publicspeaking

P.S. Remember you can get my products for free here also.

Posted in advice, howto, presentation, public speaking, Self-Development | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Over, Now What?

Thank you for following along with me for the “30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge! With any luck, you’ve learned a few things about yourself that you didn’t know before.

Hopefully, you’ve gained some insights into your relationships, and rejoiced for all that’s good and right and beautiful. Hopefully, you’re learning to not sweat the small stuff and or be consumed with the “shoulds” that take you out of the present moment.

Hopefully, you’ve reconnected with your inner child who will help you live simply and joyfully. Hopefully, you’re discovering how to make room in your life for the people, places and things that matter most.

As Frank Sinatra once sang, “The best is yet to come, and won’t it be fine.”

The Best Is Yet To Come

Now that you’re all full up on appreciation, thankfulness and positive thoughts, let’s see what plans you can put in motion for the rest of this dwindling year.

If you’re grateful for this 30-day challenge, then please feel free to express your delight or… tell me what you’d improve about it if you could. I value honesty and would love to hear from you!

Stay tuned… who knows what will be happening next.

Fran Watson

Posted in advice, help, Self-Development, topics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Appreciate Your Friends

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 30. Be Grateful for Friends

On the last day of our 30-Day Positivity Challenge, we will simply appreciate our friends.

What is it about certain people that makes you want to have them as a friend?

Do you keep a “collection” of people that you enjoy adding to as you go forth and experience life? Much like a coin collection, you’ll want to hang onto people who provide value for you.  Since everybody is different, that value could really be anything you want it to be.

Often, we become friends with people based on shared special interests. It’s way better to attend a Pink Floyd cover band concert with your good ole friends, than someone whom you barely know or worse, someone who’s currently sporting an attitude!

Many people kick off new friendships by discovering the common interests they have with someone else. Then, they take it a step further by offering personal details and sharing their stories with this new friend.

When someone listens to your stories without judging you, that’s a friend to be thankful for.

When someone hears you confess to a bad deed or poorly-made decision but doesn’t judge, rat you out or spread your story to others… that’s a friend to be thankful for, too!

Exercise 30: Make This the Year You Show Your Friends Some Love

Do you know who your real friends are? How do you know?

A friend builds up your self confidence. True friends will be honest with you while at the same time speaking to you in a tactful and kind way.

A friend will help you look on the bright side. A good friend will offer you honesty, and be open to honest thoughts and opinions from you.

A friend doesn’t play mind games, tell fictitious stories about you, or otherwise try to make you feel less-than.

Here’s a fun activity if you’re looking to show appreciation for friends.

Host a get-together of good friends to break up the monotony of our daily lives.

Don’t let inclement weather or excuses stop you from feeling the warmth of a friend’s smile. Instead, let this be the first of many friend gatherings to highlight your seasons the whole year through.

Your gathering of good friends can be a home-baked cookie swap, an evening of sipping and light conversation, or a night out at a favorite tavern to hear some great music and make merry together.

Getting together with friends doesn’t have to involve showing off the latest gadgets or being seen at all the local hot spots.

Good friends are just happy to hear from you and be in your presence!

Journal It.

Write down all the things that you love about your friends. Don’t forget to tell them!

Write down some fun and relaxing ways to celebrate your greatest friendships that don’t involve a lot of money or complicated planning.

Put your plans into action. Raise a glass to those folks in your life who laugh with you, cry with you, come to your rescue in times of need, listen to your stories, and make you feel all-around awesome to be alive.

Cheers to the best of friendships!

Fran Watson

Posted in help, howto, tips, topics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Sweet Home

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 29. Heart and Home

As the old saying goes, home is where the heart is. Every day is surely a time to be grateful for your home, the resting spot for your body and the place to renew your spirit. There are many who do not have a home. They may be living on the streets, in a shelter, or taking advantage of their friends’ couches for a while.

Home means different things to different people. Some folks prefer that their home be placed in a crowded, bustling city. Others call the quiet countryside home. And lots more others make their home in a place that’s somewhere in between.

Do you love to be home? Not everyone does. “Homebody” doesn’t fit all people and personalities. For some, home is a merely a form of shelter and a crash pad to drop by every now and again. Home is what you make it.

The word “home” can conjure up painful memories to some. A household that’s rife with conflict and dysfunction certainly doesn’t feel like a safe place to rest your heart. A house where deprivation is a fact of life may not feel like home, either.

You may have grown up in a house with lots of neighbours near by, or in the country where your closest neighbour was a mile away. Or you might have lived in an apartment. Wherever it was, if you grew up in a home full of love and comforts, then be glad for this! It’s something that we tend to take for granted.

Exercise 29: What does home mean to you?

Think about your childhood home. What did you love about it? What aspects of your home life could you have done without? I loved my bedroom in our house in Toronto. I had a cool closet that was child size. We had a 1 1/2 story house, so the roof was quite slanted.

Did you have certain attachments related to your home growing up that now color your adult life? Rituals that your family always participated in, comfort foods, things that you always did with family? Over the years we had many rituals around holidays – Sunday dinners with grandmothers, family get togethers at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Did others see your home as a welcoming place? When someone came to visit you at your home, did you feel proud of your family and at ease to have them in your territory?

What did the house where you grew up look like? What about the yard? The street you lived on? What did the inside of your home look like? Was it happily disheveled, or tidy and free of clutter?

And the place that you call home in your adult life… is it modeled after your childhood home? Or did you happily cast aside aspects of your former home, in favor of creating a home space for yourself that’s more in line with your needs?

Share some things you have discovered as you look back.

Journal It.

Think about how wonderful it is to have a home. Write about what makes your home feel comfortable and special to you.

Write about what changes you’d make to your home if you could. The changes can be physical, but they can also be about mental health.

Is your home a happy and balanced, nurturing environment?

Whatever and wherever it may be, give thanks for Home, Sweet Home!

To being grateful for your home

Fran Watson

Posted in howto, Self-Development, topics, tutorial, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protecting Our Planet

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 28: In Awe of Our Precious Planet

The planet where we exist is a miracle.

Do you feel blessed to be alive on this miraculous Eden that teems with life… Mother Earth?

It’s easy to forget how bizarre and wondrous our existence on this planet is.

Each day, we wake up and engage more or less the same routine as the prior day. We eat food, perform our jobs, rest, do more jobs, eat more, and go to sleep.

What other creatures on this planet could be doing similar things as us, and we aren’t even aware of it?

Maybe all of them, even down to the smallest units of energy.

No one can seem to confirm whether or not there is another life form out there that’s similar to human beings on earth.

People have strong opinions on the state of earth and what the future of our planet will be.

Some seem to think that we should limit the amount of natural resources that power our modern conveniences.

Other people believe that there’s no need to think this way.

Exercise 28: Become Informed About Our Planet and Its Resources

You can be grateful for our planet and its ability to sustain life. But why stop at gratitude when knowledge is real power.

If you’re going to think about our planet and what the future may hold for generations to come, then more research is needed before offering an opinion on hot button topics such as renewable energy.

Certain experts say to recycle plastic. But do you know what really happens to the plastic bottles and containers that you place in the big gray bucket that gets dumped into a truck that takes them away each week?

In 2017, recycling companies in China pay to have these recycled items shipped overseas. They melt down the plastic to make new plastic, and form new containers that hold the consumer products that we can’t seem to get enough of.

But what about the people in China who work and live near these facilities, who breathe in the chemical fumes from melting the plastic every day?

Is this really a good thing for our planet?

Some say that if we don’t conserve water, there won’t be enough for the world’s people.

And yet, scientists in Israel have found a way to remove the salt from sea water to make it potable and safe for consumption.

Journal It.

Make a list of all the ways that you have been told about our planet and its resources.

Do some online research and go deep into the details. Take notes.

Start basing your opinions around what you learn. Check out Saving Our Planet for information

To saving our planet for the future generations

Fran Watson

Posted in advice, howto, Self-Development, speech topics, tips, Uncategorized, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Is Your Inner Child?

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 27. Your Inner Child is Calling

Do you make it a point to listen to your inner child?

Some people think that once they’re of a certain age, being child-like is… well, for children.

But there is a big difference between having a child-like approach to living, and having child-like emotions.

stretch comfort zone

What does the word child-like make you think of?

  • Being fully present and mindful – able to live in the moment
  • Joyfulness and good humor
  • Always ready to play, imagine, and engage
  • Learns through play
  • A carefree attitude, not worrying about the future or lamenting the past
  • Honesty – telling it like it is
  • Eternal optimism – faith, hope and believing the best of others
  • Sharing emotions but not emotionally manipulating
  • Expressing wonder and delight at the world around you
  • Natural curiosity – questioning things
  • Keeping an open mind- accepting different opinions and points of view
  • Being non-judgmental. Enjoying people for their good qualities alone
  • Having a good nature
  • Being flexible and going with the flow

If your inner child wants you to loosen up and lighten up, then why not honor this?

get going
Let Your Inner Child Out

Exercise 27: Honor your inner child.

Be grateful for the younger you who once was, and who still lives inside you.

  • Summon your inner child when you feel like criticizing others.
  • Summon your inner child when impatience rules your actions
  • Summon your inner child when you become rigid in your beliefs
  • Listen to your inner child when you meet someone new who is different from you
  • Listen to your inner child when he or she needs someone to listen
  • Listen to your inner child when you’re spending time with your own children
  • Listen to your inner child when you’re thinking about problem solving
  • Listen to your inner child when there’s an opportunity to learn something

Journal It.

You were a child once. What were you like as a kid?

Write about the child you were. What were your favorite things to do? What types of thoughts did you have?

Who was your best friend? What did you like about him or her?

What were you good at, as a child? What was your personality, your beliefs?

Compare the adult you are today to the child you once were.

Is it possible for you to meet your inner child halfway? How?

To releasing your inner child and having more fun

Fran Watson

Posted in help, howto, tips, topics, Uncategorized, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make Beautiful Music

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 26. Beautiful Music Makes Life Worth Living

Do you ever find yourself breaking out into song in the middle of the day?

Do you have a song playing in your mind right now? What is it?

Do you enjoy hearing this melody? Do the lyrics please you?

Music is a soothing balm for the soul. When life seems overwhelming, you can take a break, and let music carry you away on the wave of your own imagination.

Make Beautiful Music

Today we will feel blessed for the beautiful music humans have created throughout history.

All over the world, music has its own unique and signature sound. From harmonicas to ukuleles, drums, sitars, bassoon, cello and more.

From a simple, evocative melody sung by a single human voice, to a masterful composition that was written by the world’s most influential musical composers such as Beethoven or Mozart, and performed by a full orchestra …  there’s no question that music speaks to the human spirit and awakens something in us that’s difficult to explain.

Even dogs enjoy music! If you have a dog, do you ever put music on for him or her to watch the reaction?

Perhaps music is a more complex form of howling – the calling of the pack.

Exercise 26: Bring Home the Sound of Music

Remember that movie? Did you feel elated and moved beyond words at the first sound of Julie Andrews’ soprano voice ringing out in proclamation that “The hills are alive with the sound of music?” How about “Doe a deer, a female deer…” Do you find yourself singing along?

Our family loved that movie and watched it every year for a long time. One morning the kids were later for school as we had stayed up late the might before watching it. For many of us, the songs of that beloved film makes our follicles stand at attention as we break out in gooseflesh at the beauteous harmonies. How about you? Does it bring happy memories when you hear that song.

Do you make music a part of your home life?

If you have children, do you sing with them or support their interest in music?

Have you ever taken music lessons or mastered the ability to play an instrument? I took accordian lessons as a child. My children are musical with two boys having been in bands for years. I have attended many “Open Mic” nights and many gigs over the years!

For our positivity challenge today, make music a theme of your afternoon or evening. Ask family members or living partners to pick a favorite song or album. It can be any musical genre – classical, blues, rock and roll, jazz, new age, country, Motown, or something else. Make up your own band and rock out, even if you are playing air guitar!

If you have musically inclined family members, why not spend more time rocking out together? This is a great activity for people of all ages, but if you have little ones then they will definitely find music appreciation hour to be highly enjoyable. We have cousins who are musically talented as well. We LOVE music!!

Gather up any instruments you have around – kid sized bongos, guitars, pan flutes, harmonicas, banjo… whatever you’ve got. Pass one instrument to each person, and have a jam session. Pots and pans can be used in a pinch, or coffee tins. A plastic container of rice or beans. Put your imagination to work and have fun!

Journal It.

Write down the details of your jam session. If you managed to record it, play back and make not of some cool musical developments that transpired. Who had a solo? Were people able to harmonize?

You might go further with your gratefulness for music theme. Host music night at least once a week!

To developing your musical abilities

Fran Watson

Posted in help, howto, Self-Development, speech topics, tips, topics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Appreciating Different Cultures

“30 Days to a More Optimistic You” Positivity Challenge – Day 25. Appreciating Other Cultures

On Day 24 of our 30 Days of Positivity Challenge, we explored the beauty of people who come from different backgrounds.

Today, let’s take this concept a step further and delve into appreciation for other cultures.

Groups and classifications are a funny thing. There’s a lot of talk about how we are all the same, and should not be judged by our differences. There’s also plenty of categorizing and classifying of different people.

Both of these facets of human existence are true. We are all humans just trying to get by and survive here on planet earth. The same in heart, body and mind.

Taiwan

The truth also is that we have originated in different spots on the map. Once, those spots seemed worlds apart. The term “foreigner” was used for someone who had come to your part of the world from elsewhere. “Foreign,” a word also connoted to mean unfamiliar, strange, different.

Now, the planet has been globalized and we’re slowly but surely melting together. You don’t hear the word “foreigner” too often these days because humanity really has come a long way. People seem more “familiar” than foreign to us, because we recognize that we really are alike in the most basic of ways.

If eventually we all become the same, “foreign” will become a totally alien concept. There will be no more of the “old school” attitude of separation. The concept of culture is likely to diminish in importance, unless we do a good job of preserving the beauty and uniqueness that each different line of people came from.

It’s the differences in how our cultures developed, that really bring the flavor and enjoyment to exploring human existence.

Exercise 25: Show Gratitude for Other Cultures

People and all their customs and cultures are surely an amazing thing to behold. Have you traveled much in your life?

Even if you haven’t found the time or inclination to traverse the great planet we call earth with its colorful and diverse citizens, you’ve surely visited a city or two in your lifetime.

Cities are where people of different backgrounds converge. Immigrants bring pieces of their culture along with them as they venture to new cities in search of a better life. Much of what they bring is the “best of” their beautiful home country.

When you think of certain cultures, what beautiful things come to mind for you? How about…

The innovation and fine attention to detail put into Russian nesting dolls and intricately painted Easter eggs carved by hand from wood.

The vibrant colors and delicateness of tulips, hyacinths and daffodils from Holland.

The bold flavors and spicy aromas of  Ethiopian stews – hearty, earthy foods that you scoop up using stretchy, textured flatbread.

The ingenuity and graceful, almost impossibly perfect forms of Chinese architecture.

Warm, thick woolen sweaters, hand knit by stout Peruvian mountain women.

The fiery red locks of a saucy Scottish lass, with a fiery personality to match.

The mystery and wonder of ancient ruins from civilizations long gone – the Egyptian pyramids.

Journal It.

What is your knowledge of different people and cultures? What do you love about their history, heritage, and the beautiful things they created in celebration of life?

Write about art, cuisine, fashion and clothing that you’ve become familiar with thanks to friends whose families hailed from different parts of the world.

What are some of your most beloved bits of your own culture?

To learning more about others – and yourself.

Fran Watson

Posted in help, howto, Self-Development, speech topics, tips, topics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment