How To Be a Better Communicator – In 2 Minutes

By Frank Kenna

Do you need to communicate with your people on a regular basis? Do you wish you had a better way to convince others positively about your ideas?  If you answered yes to either question, read on.  I’m going to tell you how to do it in two minutes.

Really.

I ran across a couple of media pieces in the last week about Dr. Amy Cuddy, a professor at Harvard.  She conducted research that shows how your physical stance or posture can release hormones in your system that will make a huge difference in your ability to be convincing.  Dr. Cuddy starts by talking about the poses of people projecting power, like a celebrity on the red carpet, a military leader or even Wonder Woman.  Typically the stances are open and expansive, with the legs planted apart and hands on the hips.  It turns out that practicing this for just two minutes before a meeting or presentation will increase your testosterone by 20% and decrease your cortisol by 25%.  What does this mean? The heightened testosterone increases dominance and the lowered cortisol decreases stress, two primary traits associated with powerful and effective leaders.

Experts also recommend that, during the event (presentation, etc.) itself, you should keep an expansive posture with your chest open and your head level or slightly raised. Don’t slouch, cross your arms, touch your neck or grasp your elbows.

This advice will be beneficial for those of us in the communications industry, or anyone who needs to sell themselves and their ideas more effectively.  I read about this research in an article in The New York Times, and in a TED video that I highly recommend.  It’s 18 minutes and worth every second.

Frank Kenna III
May 7, 2013

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