I saw the opening chat of “Live With Kelly & Michael” today, April 16, 2014, the day following the announcement that Michael Strahan will join the “Good Morning America” cast two days a week. If you saw or have a chance to replay it, notice the way Kelly and Michael enter. Though they usually move to the beat of the music, notice that Kelly doesn’t really move to the music. Notice that Michael compensates by over-exerting himself. Note too that during the chat how Kelly leans back and away in her chair when Michael is speaking and how Michael leans forward and toward her to connect. Are these two having a spat? Just sayin’. Watch the body language, folks!

1. Deliver your message: don’t let the message deliver you.

• You are the message.
• You have just seven seconds, so walk to the podium hearing “Rocky” in your head, make direct eye contact with at least one person, and smile a heart connected smile.
• Use these to begin to create rapport, passion and enthusiasm.
• People listen to us not for our titles, degrees or expertise, but for who we are.
• Get a grip on yourself: F-E-A-R. (False evidence appearing real.)
• If you have no emotional contact, you have no impact. Period.

2. Promote yourself with integrity.

• Know what people know you for, like you for, value you for.
• Know the stories you need to tell.
• Know how and when to you tell them — and to whom.

3. Become fluent in the language of the message-givers: nonverbal behavior.

• “The lips conceal. The body reveals. Truth oozes out of every pore.” Sigmund Freud
• Know what your body saying about you. Stand tall, your weight equally distributed, leaning slightly toward your audience, with gestures that match your words from the waist or above.
• What is your tone communicating? Confidence? Condescension? Contempt? Passion?
• Create impact face-to-face with positive, genuine emotion.
• Be consistent in body, gestures and tone to be “heard.”
• Be aware of gender differences in body language to create rapport.

4. Organize your ideas for impact.

• Know your audience, what they need to know and how much.
• Learn from Edward R. Murrow: “Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, tell ’em, and tell ’em what you told ’em.”
• Become memorable. You are unique. Use your own true stories. Be who you truly are — in the spotlight.
• Open with a grabber (a fact, statistic, anecdote, analogy, rhetorical question, quote or composite) and close for impact (finally, to sum up, the bottom line is, do I have your approval to move forward?”).
• Three words that make you a wimp: “I think, I hope, I feel.” Use “I know, I plan, I believe, I look forward to.”

5. Build credibility by being consistent.

• Prepare to survive “sitting in the hot seat.” Know the questions you will commonly asked, the ones you might like to be asked, the ones you hope never to be asked.
• Take lessons from current media players: What are their pitfalls? successes? gaffs? body language?
• You will be credible if you are consistent in body, word and tone.
• Establish trust by saying what you’ll do and doing what you say. Deliver more than you promise.

Ginny Pulos is president of Ginny Pulos Communications, Inc., a speech and media consultancy, and adjunct professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is an expert in presentation, storytelling and persuasion in corporate environments.r (www.ginnypulos.com). 

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