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Be impactful – practise, practise, practise!
Delivery requires movement.
In an era where speakers are often encouraged to stand behind podiums or lecterns, the art of using physical space and movement in communication – effective delivery – is becoming a lost skill. This realisation struck me when I came across a book by Gregory S. Aldrete, an expert on ancient Rome, titled ‘Gestures and Acclamations.’
The wisdom of the past holds the key to transformative leadership presence. Ancient Rome wasn’t just about grand architecture and epic battles; it was a world where gestures and body language were as powerful as the spoken word. My lightbulb moment came as I realised that these age-old techniques are incredibly relevant to today’s leadership challenges.
However, there’s a critical distinction to be made. The importance of effective movement and gestures is not about putting on a show. These skills are about enhancing the trust and respect inherent in your communication.
Quintilian, the great rhetorician, aptly cautioned in “Institutio Oratoria,” “The head should not be thrown back, nor the chest puffed out; all ostentation … is unbecoming.” (Book XI, Chapter 3). His words are a timeless reminder to strike a balance in our physical presentation.
In my work with leaders, I echo this sentiment: avoid over-performing. Genuine connection is key. Movement without substance can erode the very foundation of trust and respect that defines influential leadership.
How can you master this balance? It’s simple but not easy. Practise, practise and then practise some more. The amateur practises until they get it right; the professional practices until they can’t get it wrong. This is your path to embodying a leadership presence that resonates.
Practise in front of a mirror, seek feedback from colleagues and embrace movement in your everyday interactions. You’ll quickly witness how these small changes can dramatically shift the impact of your communication.
Looking for tips on how to integrate movement into your delivery? Subscribe to my YouTube channel for regular updates.
I’m a broken record when I say “the amateur practises until they get it right. The professional practises until they can’t get it wrong.”
Many proclaim, “I’m too busy! I don’t have time!” when it comes to honing presentation skills, mastering gestures, or adopting communication frameworks to amplify their gravitas.
But what if we could weave practice into our daily routines? For example, preparing a pivotal presentation or a challenging conversation? Simply slot in your earbuds and rehearse aloud during a walk. To passers-by, you’re just on another call!
Commit to integrating practice into your daily life – until good delivery isn’t a one-off, but a habit.
Until next week – happy practising!
P.S. Last week was a whirlwind of activities and inspiration! I had the opportunity to film a segment for ‘The Morning Show’ discussing the Optus CEO’s response to the outage. This was followed by an exhilarating experience with an energetic, passionate crowd at #abundiumWIM23 and culminated in a 3-day retreat with Chief Executive Women (CEW). Take a glimpse into last week …