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Leading Groups & Making Presentations, Part 1

March 17, 2015

Leading Groups & Making Presentations

Many things can be gained by learning to communicate in front of groups, including confidence, recognition and respect.  Many positive characteristics will be attributed to you if you can stand in front of a group, talk intelligently about a subject and field questions in an effective manner. The purpose of this three– part article is to help you better lead group meetings, present to various size audiences and make a great presentation.

Managing Command, Credibility & Control Issues in Groups

In order to lead or command, you must be able to communicate with credibility and authority.   You’re most likely to be perceived as credible when your non-verbal, vocal and verbal communication match.   When you send a mixed message, you run the risk of being misunderstood, distrusted and even disliked.  It’s also vital that you be able to maintain control when leading groups. Here are some techniques you can use to take command and maintain control in group settings.

Set an Agenda & Stay on Track

Having and sticking to a solid agenda gives you a step by step path from beginning to end in a meeting.  The agenda gives you a legitimate tool to use for regaining control when sidetracked.

Open in a Focused, Engaging Manner

When you open a meeting, face and engage attendees in a very positive, if not commanding, manner. Get their attention. Your body language needs to be open and assertive, rather than passively closed or overly aggressive. Your voice must convey warmth and/or authority, rather than fearful trembling or hostility. Rehearse what you are going to say to open the meeting, and then say it! Great communicators choose the best words for each situation.

Use Mind/Body Techniques to Project Authority

If you are a victim of negative thinking when facing groups, you need mental or physical techniques that allow you to relax and think positively. When you think positive, enjoyable or courageous thoughts, your body language will follow with a corresponding display of poise, confidence or enthusiasm.  On the other hand, if you are not in a favorable mental state, choose to carry yourself with poise and confidence and your mind will follow. You always have two available means of taking charge of mental states through posture and thinking.

Use Mind/Body Techniques to Improve Participation

You can also use mind/body techniques on others. If you have people who seem closed and unreceptive, getting them to change their body language will open their mind. You can do this by asking them to hand you something, or by handing them something to review which creates a shift in their physical openness towards you.  You may ask the person to stand up and demonstrate something or to move to a different location in order to unseat or reposition that individual.

Getting a person to laugh will often be enough to change his or her body language. When the mind opens, the body usually follows.  The trick is to keep people from becoming entrenched in a closed mental or physical mode.

Answer Questions with Smooth Transitions and Response Techniques

When someone throws you a tough question or comment, think of it as a game of catch. Here comes the curve ball, fast ball, knuckle ball or, God forbid, a spit ball. You must first catch the ball in your glove, pause for a thoughtful moment, and then respond by tossing the ball back to them as an equally impressive reply.  Good communicators usually employ a phrase such as, “That’s a good question.  Let me answer that by saying…”  This type of transition allows you time to hear, think, position yourself and respond effectively to challenging questions.            

Know the Players and Their Position in Your Audience

If you know you’re outnumbered on a particular issue and you don’t have the power to put your foot down, you will need to get the majority on your side. This requires a great deal of smooth manipulation, lobbying or persuasion.   If you can identify the “alpha” person in the group, you can use this to your favor by finding rapport, working to get that individual on your side or making sure you don’t rub him or her the wrong way.  The “alpha” is the person in the group with the most power or authority.

To purchase and view Drinon Leadership Express go to:

http://www.drinonandassociates.com/dle30/

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