Do you need an attitude adjustment? Our speaking voice projects a specific attitude in each unique physical posture and body movement. Our shoulders slump when we’re exhausted, shrug up and down when we’re uncertain or don’t care, and tense and rise up in stressful situations. In #RealTalkingTips episodes 9-12, #ElaineClark explores physical movements and how muscle memory connects with our history, story, thoughts, and emotions. This #BodyPostureVoice series begins with #Confidence and how it “takes shape” to convey trust and authority in whatever area of expertise we excel.
Body, Posture & Voice = Attitude, Opinion & Authority
So far in this series, we’ve worked on strengths and weaknesses, the voice, and pacing issues. Now, in Real Talking Tips episodes 9-12 we’re going to get an attitude adjustment. By that, I mean that we’re going to see and hear how body positioning and physical posture affects our attitude, opinion, and authority.
Our shoulders tell a lot about ourselves. They slump when we’re exhausted, shrug when we don’t know something or don’t care, and tense up and rise when we’re in a stressful situation. Each of these physical movements has a history. Our history. Our story, thoughts, and images buried inside. Being aware of how we stand and the attitude that corresponds with it is powerful.
SPEAK WITH CONFIDENCE.
Confidence is a way of conveying trust as an authority in whatever area of expertise we excel.
Real Talking Tip: Take a moment to stand with your shoulders squared off as if talking to a person or a camera. Relax the shoulders and drop them down. Breathe in slowly and look straight ahead.
- Newscasters sitting behind an anchor desk tend to arch their backs, place their hands on the desk, and angle their elbows away from their sides.
- Leaders in a business meeting often sit at the ends of the conference table to achieve this confident respect.
- Presenters like to stand center stage and take in the crowd by stretching their arms out to their sides at waist level.
- Schoolrooms are typically set up for the students’ desks to point directly at the teacher, and the chair behind the teacher’s desk positioned to see all the students. When a student slumps in the chair, the teacher often calls that person out and suggests that they sit up.
Our confident attitude history begins with shoulders straight and squared off to the listener.
Practice Assignment #9: CONFIDENCE BUILDING
Select something to read. Record or video yourself reading it with slumped or stooped shoulders. Then, read it again with your shoulders squared off, relaxed, and down. Settle your breath and gently smile. Play both recordings back and analyze what you heard or saw. Could you hear more confidence in your voice when you read it the second time with your shoulders relaxed and down? If not, try this exercise again. I have confidence in you!
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