Our attention spans rival those of a mosquito.

21 ways to enhance your audience’s retention

Last week’s blog explains the surprising truth about being memorable. First – your listeners comprehend what you’re showing (visual mode), second – by what you’re saying (auditory mode) and … third – by what you’re doing (kinesthetic mode).

While your spatial movement comes in last place in this triad, it’s got the power to cement what you’re showing and saying in the brain cells of your audience.

Your movement do’s

  • Walk on & pause before talking & establish eye contact with your group.
  • Face the audience.
  • Stand with arms resting at your sides, when not gesturing.
  • Stand with weight evenly distributed on both feet.
  • Be natural. Use your hands & arms.
  • Sit with good posture, if seated. (And don’t rock in your chair!)
  • Move around with purpose.
    • Speak on Point #1, then move.
    • Speak on Point #2, then move.
    • When you move quickly, you stir the audience. When you move slowly you keep them entranced.
  • Stand CENTER STAGE for your most important comments.
  • Post speech: pause w eye contact before leaving stage.

Your movement don’ts

  • Box Trot: Moving around in an imaginary square.
  • Cha-Cha-Cha: Taking one step forward and one step back repetitively.
  • Tennis Game: Pacing back and forth. Is your audience watching a tennis match?
  • Cruise Ship: Swaying … shifting your weight from leg to leg.
  • Fiddling Fingers: Picking at your cuticles.
  • Fig Leaf: Hands clasped below your waist.
  • Parade Rest: Hands clasped behind your back.
  • Stern Father: Arms crossed just below your chest.
  • Thigh Intrigue: Hands in your pockets.
  • Pen/Paper Massage: Playing with laser pointer, pen, and/or paper.
  • Arthritic Arm: One hand holding the opposite arm.
  • Itchy Face & Scalp Disease: Hands on your face or in your hair.

Your secret communication weapon

Move with purpose. Don’t detract from your message by being unaware of your stance, posture and gestures.

It’s not about speaking… it’s about getting heard!

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and admires the tenacity of mosquitos even with their limited attention spans.

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© photo: 123RF

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

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