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Six Pointers To Help You Master High-Powered Communications To be heard requires confidence, content, courage, and at times, even a little bit of sass.

By Saana Azzam

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To be heard requires confidence, content, courage, and at times, even a little bit of sass. The power of speech is not only characterized by the verbal communication, but non-verbal communication is equally as important. I want to move past those basic tips that can be found with a quick Google search, and dive a bit deeper in the world of strategic and powerful communication.

As someone who is now leading a top speakers' bureau and trains high performers in the art of high powered communication, here are six tips to make yourself noticed and memorable.

1. Non-Verbal Is King

Eye contact releases oxytocin- a chemical proven to be essential for building trust. Direct gazes also prompt increased participation from people in groups because it makes them feel more included. Dr. Roel Vertegaal, an expert on eye communication between humans, showed that the amount of eye contacts a person received during a group conversation was proportional to how much he or she participated. In fact, according to a 2005 joint study by the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Stirling, viewers were more likely to recall what a speaker said if the speaker looked directly into the camera at least 30% of the time. This showcases how eye contact forces us to pay attention more. It gives one authority, agency over what they are saying and who they are saying it to.

2. Master The Five Elements Of Voice: Melody, Pace, Tone, Volume, And Pitch

Your voice is a tool, and it can be used to help you be perceived as more credible, authoritative or any other feeling which entices people to listen to you. When you speak about something, does your voice convey spirit, gusto and passion? Do people often ask you to speak up, or slow down? Answering these questions and keeping in mind the aforementioned five elements is key. Ensuring that your voice is clutching onto a vocal range not only keeps your listeners enticed, but it also gives you a box of gears to work with.

3. Stand Tall As The Alpha In The Room

Our brains are wired to associate larger sizes with power, as stated by new research by Ohio State University. Taller people earn more money- it's what is commonly referred as the height premium. If you happen to not be tall, then power dress, and broaden your space utilization in a meeting room. Your body language speaks wonders about who you are, and how authoritative you are. So, stand like you are. Not only so, but smile. According to research from Duke University, people are more likely to taking liking to and remember those who smile at them. The researchers tested this through the use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), wherein they found that the orbitofrontal cortices, which is in other words, a "reward center" in the brain, were more active and vigorous when subjects were learning and remembering the names of smiling individuals. So, stand tall- and smile.

4. Speak With Your Hands

Last year, a study was conducted that analyzed TED Talks ranging from techniques to responses. They found that the most popular, viral speakers used an average of about 465 hand gestures. This was also almost twice as many as the least popular speakers used. Moreover, another research confirmed that people who "talk" with their hands, or rather, while using their hands, tend to be viewed as warm, agreeable, and energetic. The more gestures you use, the more gadgets you take out of your toolbox, the more you are likely to succeed. So, don't just depend on your content or your voice alone- branch out into what your body can offer too.

5. Mirror Your Audience

Recent studies have shown that mirroring raises the effectiveness of a sales pitch by 20%. And that in fact, in salary negotiations, you are likely to get up to one-third more by mirroring your supervisor whilst bargaining. Speak at the same pace and voice as them; use the same language. Listen to the specific words they use, and keep tabs. This will lead you to the ultimate rapport building.

6. Speak From Your Heart

People can intuitively see if someone is sincere and congruent. Our experience as a speakers' bureau shows that every time a speaker shares a great story and speaks from their heart and their core, the swiping stops. All phones are shut down. The audience no longer just hears you, but also feels your words. In an age where attention spans are shortening, and there are a lot of distractions, we need to be sharper and more deliberate in our communication to be seen, heard, and remembered. The approach for high-powered communication is rather holistic- all elements need to be there. You must have great content, delivery, and strong non-verbal communication. The beauty is that when you connect with people, truly and sincerely, you will notice your bond with people strengthening, and thus, your quality of life gets better as well.

Related: Why Avoiding Public Speaking Is Sabotaging Your Career (And What You Can Do About It)

Saana Azzam

Founder and CEO, MENA Speakers

Saana Azzam is a Swedish-Palestinian award-winning economist, a communications expert and the CEO of the leading speakers' bureau in the Middle East, MENA Speakers.


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