science of speaking

Change your Language to Lead... or Crash and Burn

Languages of the WorldAccording to Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, language can impact bottom line results. He suggests that in the airline industry, where Korea is the most hierarchical culture, lower ranking flight crews were afraid to voice concern to superiors. As a result, Korean Airlines had the most crashes. How did they resolve this problem? They changed the language of the cockpit to English.  By changing the tone in the cockpit, staff had a different context, culture  and a way of being heard.

Although there's some controversy over whether their improved flight record was a result of a change in language or a change in personnel policies, the bottom line is that the language one uses directly impacts one's ability to influence a situation. Men and women sometimes use language differently, which can cause miscommunication and an erosion of influence. Speakers or leaders who use clear, specific, definitive language increase their credibility.  Language is powerful.

How do you speak to your audience? To your superiors? To your peers and direct reports? To your customers? To your shareholders?  Leaders who lack executive presence, may not be using language effectively.

Ambiguous questions and weak language can undermine leadership, and result in lost opportunities and sales.

The DiResta Communications approach to presentation is the Science of Speaking-what confidence looks like, sounds like and how to speak the language of confidence. Our coaching programs improve leadership communication and organizational effectiveness.

Laughter Is Good for You and Your Audience

We've heard the stories about the healing power of laughter. Scientists are now "graphing the laugh" and it's a serious subject. They've discovered that even animals laugh (no, not just hyenas). In the research lab, rats would continue to return to handlers who tickled them. Dr. Robert Provine, author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, studied laughter for years and concluded that laughter is mostly social and only a very small percentage of laughter is a result of joke telling. Laughter can actually produce a chemical that acts as an anti depressant in the brain. While there is no scientific evidence that laughter alone produces a direct health benefit, it's enough that laughter feels good and creates good feelings. So don't stress yourself if you can't tell a joke. Laughter is about engagement. You can project a funny cartoon, show a humorous video clip or even play off the humor of the audience. All you need to create laughter is another person. Nervous? Laughing is a good way to burn off nervous stress. Facing a hostile audience? Get them laughing. You can't be angry and laugh at the same time. So stop being so serious and bring a little laughter into your presentations.