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Five Body Language Lessons From Successful TED Talks

What makes a TED Talk go viral? The TED Blog recently asked that question and used a research-based study to answer it. According to TED:

“Over the last year, a human behavior consultancy called Science of People set out to answer this question. To do so, says founder Vanessa Van Edwards, they polled 760 volunteers, asking

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How To Gesture During Media Interviews

This is an excerpt from The Media Training Bible, available in soft cover, for Kindle, and iPad. 

Many people tell me they were instructed by a previous media trainer never to gesture when they speak. A few were even taught—often by grade school teachers—that gesturing is rude.

That’s terrible guidance. Your goal during a media interview

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Monty Python: Walking Your Way To A Better Speech

Through his pioneering body language research, psychologist Paul Ekman found that a feedback loop exists between the physical actions you take and the emotions you feel.

“If you put on your face all of the muscular movements for an emotion, that emotion will generally begin to occur…Our research shows that if you make those movements on

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Power Posing: A TED Talk You Should Watch

Olympic swimmers spend years trying to shave a few tenths of a second off their racing times. Ambitious students learn to become more efficient studiers. Daily commuters learn how to avoid peak traffic by leaving the house at precisely the right time.

We’re all looking to gain small advantages in our daily routines, and yet, most

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Study: Does Eye Contact Hurt Your Ability To Persuade?

Every public speaking expert I know advises presenters to forge a connection with their audiences by maintaining steady eye contact.

RELATED: FOR HOW MANY SECONDS SHOULD YOU MAKE EYE CONTACT? 

But a highly publicized study published in Psychological Science suggests that eye contact may actually make people “more resistant to persuasion, especially when they already disagree.”

“’There is

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How Much Energy Is Appropriate For Media Interviews?

After concluding on-camera practice interviews with our clients, I often ask them to rate how much energy they thought they had, on a scale of 1 to 10. “Oh, around an eight or nine,” the trainees usually guess. “That was probably a bit over-the-top, right?”

I then ask the other people in the room to rate

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For How Many Seconds Should You Make Eye Contact?

If you read a few public speaking books, you’ll probably come across conflicting advice about how long you should maintain eye contact with an audience member before moving on to someone else.

Here are a few examples from writers whose insight I respect:

In You Are The Message, Roger Ailes writes: “As you move from small group

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To Show Hands Or Not To Show Hands: That Is The Question

Reader Monica Miller Rodgers asks the following question:

“I notice you express your ideas with lots of hand movements (as do I). In media training, though, I have always taught clients to keep their hand movements below the waist to avoid getting gestures in the frame. I teach them to continue using their hands and not

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