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Powerful & Persuasive Delivery Techniques



Movement is an integral and vital part of all communication. During any normal oral exchange, we gesture, walk about, or turn in our chairs, to emphasize or decry a particular point. Let us make a formal presentation, however, and we become Jekyll and Hyde! The floor beneath us seems to either turn to glue and hold us rooted, or, to become electrified so we prance about like a Mexican jumping bean.

To help you return to normal, program movement into your presentation to match what you are saying. If, for example, you are referring to a dimension such as height or width, physically show us. Measure it from floor or table, spread your arms, reach for the ceiling, or, use your arms, alternately, to show from here (Chicago) to there (Toronto).

If you tell us you see, or saw, something and are going to describe it, walk across the stage and pretend to examine it. Visualize it and then point to or `touch' each segment as you refer to it.
Try it. One of the following examples will help you get started.

Example 1: "The grass is always greener . . ."

Contrast your neighbour's beautiful lush green lawn with your own spotty patches of dandelions and crab grass.

To do this effectively, you have two choices:

  1. totally describe his lawn and then totally describe yours; or,
  2. describe and then compare each feature.
In the former instance, you can move to one side of the platform and face slightly in that direction while you cover the full description of his lawn, then move to the other side of the platform, face slightly toward the new direction, and describe your own.

Should you choose to contrast, feature by feature, you would accommodate the change by simply facing first one way, then the other, as you alternated.

In either case, as you draw a verbal picture for your audience you would also texture it by feeling your neighbour's lush carpet of grass. Run your hand through it, wiggle your toes in it, contemplate sprawling on it.

Then feel your own grass. Pull out a few dandelions, scowl at the crab grass, and, perhaps turn away from the unpalatable sight, or grind it all up with a rototiller and start again.

Example 2: "Quality Control"

Helping your audience visualize a service, concept, or process, requires extra care. Because you have no physical picture or prop to rely on, you must find other techniques to assist your audience to relate, especially if they have never experienced anything similar. Movement can be an enormous aid in communicating.

Let's consider, for example, a chemical or manufacturing process. You might decide to show a series of slides of each operation; but, this technique has a tendency to segment the process and to lessen the ability to display alternate paths.

If, on the other hand you make full use of your presentation platform, you can walk your audience around the plant as you describe it. Even more effective is to ask the audience to visualize you as the raw material moving through the process and changing as you go. The possibilities for movement are endless, as are the possibilities for positively influencing your audience by rubbing your nice smooth edges (tolerance .0001mm) or revelling in your sulphur bath. (Now that takes imagination!)

If you prefer a somewhat safer approach, walk your audience through to each spot, and then use a slide or picture to aid in the visualization. Do, however, use your body to look inside, turn the knobs or place things in the curing oven. Remember, though, that each time you talk about a particular operation you should go back to the same spot to discuss it. The audience will rapidly relate to that.

The same technique can be used to differentiate between economic theories, planning alternatives, or segments of any talk. Provide a specific spot on the platform, or, on the table in front of you if that is your setting, for your audience to use as a visual focus for each abstract concept or physical unit you wish them to remember.

Once you have programmed movement and gestures to help your listeners see what they are hearing, you won't have to worry about the what else your hands and feet are doing. They are too busy communicating.


A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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