On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me.
12 Eyebrows Lifting – In presentations this can often help to indicate to the audience you are expecting them to answer your question. Raised eyebrows are also a good indication of surprise, but they don’t stay that way for long so you’ll know that special someone has figured out what you were getting them if their eyebrows stay up too long!
11 Palms Awaiting – Whether asking the audience for their buy-in or input or requesting a favour from a co-worker, use a “palms up” gesture instead of a “palms down” gesture. You’ll appear more open and inviting, and less like you’re giving a command. For a helpful holiday reminder, picture yourself receiving a present or holding a tray of mince pies!
10 Hands a Flapping – Constantly moving your hands whist presenting can distracting. In between purposeful hand movements keep your hands relaxed by your side. At the Christmas office lunch you’ll never knock over the waiters tray of drinks again!
9 People Pacing – Pacing up and down can make the audience feel like they are watching a tennis match. Stand still and when you do move, do it for the audience not for you. Having a place on the stage to your right for the beginning of a timeline (Say Jan 2015) and a space on your left for the end of a timeline (say Dec 2015) works really well. Remember you are like a mirror image to the audience.
8 Shoulders Shrugging – Shrugging shoulders indicate uncertainty, and shrugging coupled with a definitive statement can negate the statement. When Uncle Joe unwraps the Christmas jumper, shrugs, and says, “I love it!” you’ll know that you missed the mark this year.
7 Heads-a-Nodding – Nodding to the audience and leading them is a great way of encouraging them to nod back at you. Using tag questions in addition to nodding can make that response even more powerful. It can can’t it?
6 Eyes-a-Smiling – You can tell a real smile from a fake one by looking at a couple of indicators. Real smiles happen in the eyes, which crinkle up at the corners showing the “crows’ feet.” The mouth is also drawn up toward the ears and not straight backward. Remember this by remembering the description of Santa in “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”: His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples so merry!”
5 Hunched Shoulders – All this computer work tends to make most of us a little round shouldered. When speaking keep your shoulders straight back and yet still relaxed. Spend some time away from the computer this Christmas break and how about practicing standing up straight in the shopping queues.
4 Eyes Connecting – When you make eye contact, speak a sentence or so to one audience member then move to another at random. Anything more than 80% will intimidate most people, so in a one to one look away to admire the decorations once in a while during conversation.
3 Presenter Stance – When making the Christmas speech this year remember your presenter stance with your feet hip width apart, arms by side and head and neck straight. This will make you look and feel confident plus you’ll also look taller and slimmer! (Great if you’ve over done the Christmas Pudding!)
2 Folded Arms – Folding your arms can help you stay warm, but it can also make you look closed off, unapproachable, uninterested, and angry. Don’t be a Grinch! If the Grinch had his arms folded, we wouldn’t be able to see that his heart grew three sizes on Christmas!
And A-void Jingling Like a Christmas Tree – Jingling pocket change to relax your nerves when speaking is far from relaxing for the audience (especially those who are auditory sensitive)! Remove temptation by emptying your pockets and giving the change to a Christmas charity!
Wishing you and your loved ones a Simply Amazing Christmas!