• Effective public speeches: a guide on nonverbal communication

    By M2.0 Communications on January 21 , 2016

    Repost from M2.0 Communications, partner of PROI

    Those who practice public relations are very well aware that the way something is said is just as important as the contents of what is said. While leaders have to be conscious of the words they use, they too have to be conscious of what their body communicates in every occasion. For a presidential candidate, the occasion might require a speech about his platform. There might be instances wherein he has to face opponents in a public debate and be interviewed, or possibly grilled, by the media.

    Proper Attire 

    For those in the corporate world, the occasion could be a pitch for an account you are trying to win. It could be a presentation to your bosses, or an
    important event for the company or a client.

    In all these instances, body posture, facial expressions, gestures, and even how space is used can reinforce the points you are making. They can project confidence and power, or give away your uncertainties and the things you are trying to hide.

    Here are a few tips for making meaningful and powerful nonverbal communication when delivering important speeches:

    1. Dress appropriately and look presentable

    At first glance, a member of the audience can judge your credibility based on how you dress. A shabby appearance can tarnish your credibility in an instant. Dressing inappropriately is an indication that you do not know what you are getting into.

    Your choice of outfit should depend on the event. In formal gatherings, audiences often think that those wearing darker clothing look more trustworthy and respectable. Clothes in lighter or brighter colors can work in less formal occasions, but they can also help you stand out especially when addressing large crowds.

    2. Vary your use of voice

    Aside from being another indicator of credibility, the quality of your voice can have a certain impact on the crowd. Most people find deep voices more attractive compared with voices that sound shrill or high-pitched.

    We’d love to have a voice like Morgan Freeman’s, but not everyone was born with that gift. However, there are vocalization and breathing exercises that can help you achieve a lower, deeper voice.

    Delivering lines also calls for the need to vary the tone, pace, and pitch of your voice to keep the audience engaged. One of the last things an audience wants to hear is a monotonous speech with an obvious pattern.

    3. Look at your audience

    When we were first taught to read aloud in class, we were taught to look at the audience once in a while. Your eyes tell your listeners that you are talking to them, not at them. Additionally, though it is important to look at different members of your audience, moving your eyes too much can make you seem distracted. Eyes also convey emotion and help you connect with the audience better.

    When delivering a speech, you can direct a phrase or sentence with your eyes to a specific part of your audience who you think can relate to those specific words. By looking at your audience meaningfully, your message has a better chance of striking the heart.

    4. Maximize the power of your hands and arms

    The way you move your arms and hands can help you emphasize points, convey a sense of power, and magnifying your presence. As gestures convey different types of messages, it is advantageous for a public speaker to know which ones to use, and which ones to avoid.

    For example, pointing a finger or closing your fist sends an aggressive message, and you should be careful not to direct that aggression towards your audience. Crossing your arms is also ill-advised because it puts you on a defensive stance. By opening your arms, you make yourself look approachable. If you would like to point to your audience, it is better to do so with an open palm instead of pointing at them with a finger.

    Now that you know which nonverbal cues you should be aware, here are a few more reminders you might find useful for your next speech.

    First, always be prepared. Take the time to rehearse your delivery, but do not deliver your message in a way that makes you look robotic or unnatural. Second, be sincere. When you mean what you say, your body becomes attuned to your speech and is able to communicate more effectively.


  • Fathering through the Generations with the Centre For Fathering

    By Eugene Chuang on January 18 , 2016

    Towards the end of 2015, Huntington produced a three-part video series on fathering titled ‘From Generation to Generation’ for the Centre For Fathering and Dads For Life. In each video, fathers and their children shared what fathering means to them, and their joys and challenges as a family.

    You can view the videos below.


  • 7 Content Marketing Trends To Watch In 2016

    By Julie Ellis, Chief Editor, PremierEssay on January 15 , 2016

    Repost from Social Media Week

    The end of 2015 is approaching quickly, and now is a great time to think about what is coming down the pike in 2016 where social media marketing is concerned. As marketing directors are busily designing their strategies for 2016, they must consider the marketing trends that are going to have the biggest impact on their efforts. It looks as if 2016 will bring in a mix of new trends along with the continuation of some trends that began in 2015.

    If you are in the midst of developing your social media marketing strategy for next year, why not take a moment to review these 7 social media marketing trends to watch in 2016.

    1. Mobile First Will Become the Norm

    This forecast shows the number of smartphone users in the U.S. from 2010 to 2018. For 2016, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 198.5 million. Source

    Until recently, content, app, and web development strategy has focused primarily on the needs of the desktop user with mobile being an afterthought. In 2015, there was a noticeable shift in this line of thinking with many companies moving towards a mobile first mindset. This shift was largely due in part to the sharp increase in the number of mobile users, and the increasing amount of mobile visitors to websites. More mobile users than ever, are using their devices to:

    • Browse Social Media
    • Access News and Entertainment
    • Research Products and Make Purchases
    • Use Navigational Apps
    • Communicate with Others
    • View Visual Content Including Videos
    • Post Comments and Reviews

    This will only increase in 2016, making it a near impossibility for marketing strategists to avoid focusing on mobile next year, especially touchscreen.

    2. There Will be a Focus Shift in SEO to Social Media

    There is a slowly developing change in user behavior when it comes to searching out information on products and services. While using search engines to find information is still the most common behavior, there are many users who are skipping the search engine and performing their searches directly on social media.

    There are a couple of different reasons that this happening. First, consumers know that they are more likely to find visual content if they search on social media, and to them, this content is far more trustworthy than text heavy content.

    The other reason is that consumers value feedback from others, and they know they are more likely to find reviews and comments on social media content than they will in other places. This means that marketing strategy must move beyond How can I get found on Google? toHow can I get found on Google and social?

    3. Facebook will Dominate However Their Audience Will be Older

    I’ll start off by saying that any suggestion that Facebook is losing relevance is entirely false. As long as Facebook continues adding new functionality and tightening up security, it will remain the dominant social media platform for the near future. In fact, one of Facebook’s innovations is the driving factor behind one of our social media marketing trends for next year (more on that later).

    Having said that, it must be acknowledged that younger consumers are tending to use other social media platforms to interact with one another and consume content. For some brands, this change will have little to no impact on their marketing strategies. For others, however, this could be a deciding in factor in whether or not they should focus on other social media platforms, especially those focused on students.

    4. Digital Marketing Efforts will Increase on Newer Social Media Sites

    As mentioned above, the aging of the Facebook audience is one factor driving this change. However, it is not the only factor. Until recently Snapchat and Instagram have been regarded as mediums for users to communicate with one another and to share personal content. Most marketing directors didn’t see either platform as a viable place for their content marketing efforts, especially when it has been so lucrative to focus on more established platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. This will change quickly as we move into 2016.

    Instagram is now providing advertising opportunities to a wider circle of brands, and the Snapchat Story is already proving to be a great branding tool. Moving into the future, it is likely that marketers will be less timid when it comes to marketing on new platforms.

    5. New Options for Publishing Content Online Will Open up Thanks to Instant Articles

    In quarter one of this year, Facebook launched Instant Articles. This technology allows publishers to instantly and constantly publish streaming content to Facebook. Essentially, the company’s content management system interfaces directly with Facebook and can seamlessly publish new content as it is ready for release.

    When instant articles launched, it was limited to nine major publishers including the New York Times, NBC News, and BuzzFeed. Since that time, other big publishing houses have been invited into the fold. Now, Facebook appears to be opening up Instant Articles even more by inviting publishers to contact them for information about becoming Instant Articles publishers. The possibility is very real that Instant Articles will be even more accessible by end of year 2016.

    Competition from other social media platforms to keep up with Facebook in this space will also benefit the marketing efforts of small to mid sized businesses. One example of this is the Snapchat story. Individual users are using this feature to tell stories of their experiences, but many brands are also incorporating Snapchat stories in their efforts to reach out to their base.

    6. User Expectations for Content Quality Will Soar

    As the popularity of inbound marketing increases, so does the amount of content available to consumers. This availability will continue to result in high expectations when it comes to quality and when it comes to the variety of content offerings. Smart content creators will factor in users’ preference video and image over text, their preference for informative and useful content over blatant sales efforts, and their preference for custom content over shared content. It is important to note that these preferences exist in the B2B sector as well as the B2C sector.

    7. Oculus Rift will Change The Way That Marketers Design the Customer Experience

    In spite of the fact that it is not coming to market until early in 2016, the possibilities that come with Oculus Rift are already changing the ways in which marketing strategists are thinking in regards to interactive content and customer engagement.

    Specifically, marketers who have largely ignored storytelling as a means of reaching consumers will find themselves racing to catch up, not only to begin using storytelling in their marketers but also to do it using 360 degree technology.