We’ve called upon our resident body language expert, Sharon Merrill EVP and Partner David Calusdian, to teach us to become better speakers – whether at meetings, investor conferences or in more personal settings. This four-part conversation provides a taste of the good, and bad, habits of executive presenters, with a few tips for improvement along the way. Today’s post is the finale in the series.
The Podium: Well, David. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, when you share your deepest presentation secrets. What are common mistakes you’ve seen presenters make over the years?
DC: Let’s start with nervous habits. Nervous speakers will fiddle or fidget with anything. The reason is that many people do not know what to do with their hands. Some put their hands in their pockets, making them look stiff. Others fiddle with the keys in their pocket, a pen, a wedding ring or other jewelry.
We’ve called upon our resident body language expert, Sharon Merrill EVP & Partner David Calusdian, to teach us to become better speakers – whether at meetings, investor conferences or in more personal settings. This four-part conversation provides a taste of the good, and bad, habits of executive presenters, with a few tips for improvement along the way. Today’s post is Part II in the series.
The Podium: Hello, David. Today we’re going to discuss eye contact and how we can use it effectively during our presentations. Why don’t we start with improving eye contact when using a projection screen, as with a PowerPoint presentation?
DC: Maintaining good eye contact with the audience is a necessity. You should look at a screen only if you need to see the bullet points or graphic on the slide in order to speak to it. Glance very quickly to the screen, then back to your audience — so that you can direct the audience to the screen but maintain their attention.
We’ve called upon our resident body language expert, Sharon Merrill EVP and Partner David Calusdian, to teach us to become better speakers – whether at meetings, investor conferences or in more personal settings. This four-part conversation provides a taste of the good, and bad, habits of executive presenters, with a few tips for improvement along the way. Today’s post is Part I in the series.
The Podium: Thanks so much for joining us, David. Many readers of The Podium are frequent speakers at conferences or company events, so we’re hoping you can share some of your presentation insights with them.
We thought for today’s conversation we would discuss that most perplexing of body parts for public speakers: the hands.
DC: The hands, and the arms, for that matter, can stump a lot of speakers. Many speakers have no idea what to do with them, and frequently ask me where they should put their hands during a speech or presentation. The answer is that the hands shouldn’t be in one place at all. Speakers are more dynamic when they are free-flowing with their hands. You don’t want them to be too fast and going all over the place, but you also don’t want to look reallystiff and have them constantly by your side.
By David Calusdian, Executive Vice President & Partner
New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick held two press conferences to address the “deflate-gate” controversy that has taken over sports headlines since the Patriot’s dismantling of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. The Patriots, and Belichick as its head coach, are accused of underinflating game-day footballs against league rules.
After nearly a week of increasing hype and Patriot’s silence, Bill Belichick took the podium on Thursday morning in an attempt to quell the deflate-gate firestorm. His performance was lacking both in content and delivery and, thus, only fanned the sports talk radio flames that had been raging since the crisis broke. Then, in a surprising move, Belichick returned to face the cameras again on Saturday. He performed better in his second press conference and public reaction was more positive. Let’s take a look at some “lessons learned” from both of Belichick’s press conferences during the Patriot’s deflate-gate crisis.
Sometimes the difference between success and failure when delivering a presentation is not the presentation slides at all. The problem most often is the presenter’s delivery. In the video below, Sharon Merrill Executive Vice President & Partner David Calusdian provides tips on how to get the most out of your presentation delivery. Continue reading
5 Useful Tips for Reading Body Language in a Business Environment
By Dennis Walsh, Senior Consultant & Director of Social Media at Sharon Merrill
In business, people aren’t always completely honest. I know…stop the presses! As investor relations professionals, we are constantly playing a poker game with Wall Street. So how do you know if someone is not being completely truthful with you? Read their body language.
Nonverbal communication, or body language, often sends a different message from the spoken word. The way a person shakes hands, gestures while talking, or even crosses their legs, sends subtle but clear signals about the real meaning behind the message. Even a simple touch of the nose may indicate that a person is being untruthful.
Many Wall Street firms have hired body language experts to train analysts and portfolio managers to identify the nonverbal cues that executives give. So it’s beneficial for CEOs and CFOs to recognize these signals, to ensure they aren’t unwittingly conveying the wrong message. Continue reading
“Lie to Me.” The name of the prime time drama on Fox is a challenge. “Go ahead. I dare you to try to pull one over on me.” The show’s protagonist, played by Tim Roth, is an expert in detecting deception and is hired by corporations, government agencies and private citizens to analyze body language.
We’ve all heard about how valuable body language is in interpersonal communication, but is Lie to Me more fiction than fact? Not even close. The investment community is now using real-life consulting firms like the one in Lie to Me to analyze the truthfulness of corporate executives.
In his 2010 book Broker, Trader, Lawyer Spy, POLITICO White House Reporter Eamon Javers recounts stories of former CIA agents working with major hedge funds and bulge bracket investment banks. Boston-based Business Intelligence Advisors (BIA) is one firm mentioned by name in Javers’ book. BIA, which consults solely for the financial services industry, including institutional investors and venture capitalists, is comprised of former intelligence community agents. Continue reading