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28/01/2021

Charismatic speaking: Yes you can (learn it)!

Training & Coaching

A keynote for a crowded room, a video message, an important TV interview or a challenging negotiation conversation: these are all moments in which powerful and charismatic speaking can make a difference. With verbal and non-verbal communication you take your story to the next level. Or not at all, of course.

Charismatic communication doesn’t have to be an innate talent. What you tell, how you bring it, how you speak and which attitude you should or shouldn’t adopt, all of this can be learned. And contrary to what you might think, this is not only an added value during a TV interview or on large stages, but also during meetings or a one-on-one conversation.

Let you body language do the talking

Your body language can destroy your charisma or amplify your story. It begins with your basic posture, the degree of eye contact and the supportive movements of your hands. Did you know, for example, that you look much more powerful when you leave your hands and wrists free? There is a reason why Barack Obama often rolled up his sleeves during his speeches. During a TV debate, it is always a good idea to stay involved, even when the other person is speaking. After all, you are still in the picture. So, don’t get distracted by thinking of your next question, but keep looking at the person speaking.

Keep at a distance or bring closer?

Coaching can help you discover whether you are sending signals through your body language that keep others at a distance or make you more approachable. Useful during your next negotiation or a difficult one-to-one conversation. Taking a slightly slanting position, lifting the chin a little bit, turning away your shoulders or breaking off eye contact too quickly, for example, creates distance. You indicate non-verbally that you’re quitting. Often it is an unconscious reaction. Of course, you can also use your body language to your advantage: for example, as a technique to make it clear to your partner that the conversation, as far as you’re concerned, is over. 

The power of golden silence

Of course, the ultimate goal is that your words have made an actual impact on people. That’s why it’s also important to really grab your audience. Our advice: leave some room in your story for your personality as a speaker or interviewee. Perfection is not a must, on the contrary. Speak in the moment, and try not to think of your next sentence. Sometimes, a pause or golden silence is not only acceptable but even recommended. It gives your audience, the journalist or your interlocutor the opportunity to think along with you and reflect for a moment.

And then there’s your speaking pitch: don’t talk too high, but choose your natural pitch. A beautiful, low speaking voice will not only add power to your message, it will also make you a lot more convincing.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

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