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Weekly Furniture Message From Margo - 8 Super Helpful Body Language Tips for Your Next Presentation!

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At this time of year, many home furnishings professionals have an array of opportunities to speak in public at networking events, conferences, and local shows and events. You may even be thinking about hosting your own in-store holiday themed seminars. Any time you have the opportunity to share your expertise and connect meaningfully with potential clients (and build your tribe), you should. It is also a good idea to make those opportunities happen where they don’t even exist by letting others know you are available to speak and or do Q&A sessions. Even a 10 minute speech can go a long way in establishing you as the expert.
This week, I’d like to share with you some quick tips for using effective body language at your events and in your speeches since it’s not only what you say with your voice that counts for a memorable presentation.
By the way, only 7% of what we actually say matters. Here’s the breakdown on body language. According to psychologist and body language expert Albert Mehrabian, the total impact of a message can be broken down this way:

  • 7% verbal (words)
  • 38 % vocal (volume, pitch, rhythm, etc.)
  • 55 % body movements (mostly facial expressions) 

Now let’s take a look now at my 8 Super Helpful Body Language Tips for Your Next Presentation. These tips should help you significantly in your very next speaking engagement, regardless of how experienced you are. They will also serve you well in your day-to-day business life:
1. Dress well. Elegantly casual is always nice, but be yourself in terms of style. Wear the best you can afford with clothing that totally communicates and supports your own personal style, NOT someone else’s.
2. Make eye contact with individual audience members. It may be easiest to focus on people you had a chance to meet before the presentation, but choose several people. Make sincere eye contact for a few seconds, then move on to someone else— don’t lock eyes on just one person.
3. Hold good posture. Stand up straight and relax your shoulders a bit. Own your right to share and be the expert during this time. After all, you have useful information that will certainly help others and they will likely be very happy you are willing to share it with them.
4. Smile when you think of it, and be sincere with your smile. Even an imperfect smile can light up a room!
5. Be natural with body and hand gestures, and wait until you are somewhat experienced at speaking before using them to strategically emphasize points, otherwise it seems unnatural.
6. Keep hand gestures somewhat close to the body and use the hands mainly to precisely and neatly emphasize specific and important key points.
7. Periodically, grasp your fingers together and hold them in a triangle by allowing your thumbs to touch one another at the tips and your pointer fingers to touch each other at the tips. This helps you to relax while feeling more in control, and it helps you to come across as confident and sure. Look out at the audience as you do this (not at your hands).
8. When wrapping up your talk, use the “Hand Sphere” just before the close: Picture yourself holding a small globe or a ball in front of you and away from your body at about belly-button height. You are cupping the ball with both hands, in other words, making your hands into a circle or sphere. Make your point using this gesture while giving your wrap-up statement. EXAMPLE:  “All of these points can be wrapped up in one word—Connect”

If you are thinking about in-store seminars, it might be a good idea to revisit my 8-Part Decorating Crash Course Seminar Series that appeared last year in Furniture World Magazine. See the first installment (How to put on a successful seminar series for your customers) at http://bit.ly/cWgR9H
Have a Wildly Week of Better Body Language,


Margarett (Margo) DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business and Design Coach in the Home Fashions Industry. She creates and delivers custom training programs for managed businesses and their sales consultants to help them communicate better with customers and increase sales and profits. Margarett is a Writer and Professional Speaker, and the President of The DeGangi Group and The DeGangi School of Interior Decoration, with both on sight and on-line courses in Interior Decorating, Marketing, and Redesign. For almost 20 years she has helped individuals and managed business owners in the interior fashions and decorating industries to earn more while fully enjoying the process.

Two of Margo’s popular products for furniture store owners and their sales professionals are The Decorating School Crash Course Power-Ed Pack (9 design lessons on video/audio with 12 hours of content), and the matching Decorating School Crash Course Learner Files to measure learning, provide added interactivity, and motivate sales consultants to own their opportunities for growth.

Visit Margo DeGange’s website at www.DecoratingForProfits.com  for more information. Send email and questions to her at Margarett@furninfo.com.


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