WIN THE ROOM WITH SCIENCE
We've said it before and we'll say it again: communication is a science. Enjoy these great studies in psychology, sociology, and neuoscience that delve into every aspect of Winning the Room. Each study is accompanied by the proof from real-life WTR clients!
Why social media IS a priority for brand management:
It's impossible to find scientific study that defines why social media has such a large influence in today's world, because literally thousands of reports say that.
The WTR Proof:
One of WTR's clients is a fantastic business. They consistently have at least four star reviews across the web, on Yelp, Google, and Facebook. Customer satisfaction is key, and they definitely achieved it. When people see a whopping 4.8 star rating on facebook, they trust you far more easily.
Yet,our client's presence is still dormant. They don't post consistently in patterns, meaning a for each platform you post a certain amount of times each day and week. They have fewer followers than pages they follow, which is called a low followship ratio. If you look at the Internet-famous icons, they have exponentially more followers than they follow. Their business is very visual, and they take amazing pictures of their clients that are perfect for Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram! But they aren't taking full advantage of the visual appeal and instant connection that photo-based social media can provide.
WTR is gonna fix them right up and give them simple tools to increase social media presence, because they really deserve it. They're not an example of bad marketing; this is an example of not using SM to it's fullest. Social Media Marketing is all about reaching out to your target audience and giving, not promoting. A larger, devoted followship, is well within their reach, and yours. All you need is a little strategy.
Why you should tell stories:
Why have legends and fairy tales stood the test of time when much of history goes ignored? Why isGoldilocks and the Three Bears much more recognized than THE ABORIGINES REPORT (1837): A CASE STUDY IN THE SLOW CHANGE OF COLONIAL SOCIAL RELATIONS? Both were published in Great Britain in the year 1837. They both inform on the nature of moving into foreign environments and attempting to make a home. But who the hell has heard of the Aborigines Report these days?? Pretty much no one. That's becauseGoldilocks is a story, and stories endure time far longer than information.
There’s even a science behind man’s (and woman’s) love of stories. A Princeton study found that neurologically, our brains become more active when we tell or hear stories. When we listen to pure information, like a powerpoint, only one part of the brain is stimulated. (Scientists call is Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, but it only decodes words into meaning. On the other hand, when humans hear a story, not only do Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas light up, but the actual subject matter is also stimulated in the brain. For example, if I told you about the amazing dinner I had last night, your sensory cortex would go crazy. Or if I said “Pablo kicked the ball”, scans would show activity in the motor cortex, which coordinates the body’s movements.
But wait, there’s more! Not only is the listener’s brain more stimulated, their minds even start to take your experiences and sensations as their own. According to Uri Hasson from Princeton, “a story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.” Naturally, people wish to relate tales to existing experiences, activating yet another part of the brain called the insula, which helps relate experiences with emotion. In short, your story gets personalized and memorized.
The WTR proof:
During a WTR class on How to Win the Room, Kelly asked each of the participants to stand at the front of the room, and tell a story about an instance when he or she had overcome an obstacle. One particular student stood out. He had an amazing story: touching, shocking, and emotionally real. He had some impact, but his story was too scattered to achieve its full potential of impact. WTR educated him on the technique of storytelling.
1) Practice the dip: Talk about something sad or shocking to relate to the audience on an emotional level. Show them you are at their level. Then end positive.
2) One purpose, three subpoints: To prevent from cluttering your story and obscuring the message, keep it simple. If your story is strong, you don't need fluff.
He got up and told the story again. And it was amazing to see his improvement and the confident nature with which he presented. Even though we had all heard the story 10 minutes earlier, the room was captivated.
To learn more about this awesome phenomenon: http://www.wccglobalscholars.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/The-Science-of-Storytelling-Why-Telling-a-Story-is-the-Most-Powerful-Way-to-Activate-Our-Brains.pdf
Why you should never say “I thrive under pressure”:
Jitters are helpful to a certain point that is if you know how to focus the nervous energy. Otherwise forget it. Imagine a grading scale where 0 is total calmness to the point of not caring, and 100% is a full-blown anxiety attack. The acceptable, healthy point of nervous is the 10-20% range, but most people reach about 65%. That’s a problem.
A 2014 Caltech study found that in a state of anxiety, the brain reacts by activating certain neurons and shutting others down by stimulating the lateral septum. After a long, complicated neurological process, there are two results. One: inhibitory neurons are activated, which inhibits the stimulation of other brain areas. Two: the output of LS neurons increases the level of circulating stress hormones. In short, you get more stressed and the brain can’t function as well.
So, to those people who say “Stress makes my brain work harder,” I say, "Stress increases shallow breathing and nervous thoughts, which both of those things will sabotage your message and delivery.
The WTR proof:
Naturally, as a communications coaching company, we see a lot of nervous speakers. No one will admit they are "bad public speakers" because that would mean accepting a negative part of yourself. You should never say that you are bad at something, because that's just preying on your self esteem, but it's perfectly okay to admit you could use help.
When people admit the areas where they wish to improve, it's like taking a deep breath after cutting off air for too long. Just like the brain needs oxygen, your troubles need to be aired out. Not only can WTR begin to coach in the most helpful way, but the nerves escape from inside you. After your jitters are out in the open, they can dissipate, instead of building up within your fear centers. Stress compounds in your brain, and in your confidence, unless you release.
For more of the scientific basis, click here: http://www.caltech.edu/content/worry-brain
Why non-verbal cues are so important:
An oft-repeated statistic:
Only 10% of your communication comes from actual words spoken, the rest is body language.
The actual breakdown: (From Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages)
7% of any message is conveyed through words. 38% is conveyed through tone of voice and other vocal elements. 55%- the majority-of communication is expressed through nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc.
Keep in mind that all communication is fairly relative. Meaning that, anything said or done is never filed away in an iron vault with a label marking the exact opinion someone gained. Words, tone and action are left to the interpretation of the listener, and help the audience gain some idea of who you are.
The WTR proof:
A long time Win the Room student has made leaps and bounds in her presentation and communication skills. Yesterday, she made another great breakthrough. During a class with Kelly, she was asked to tell a story, and the classroom was full of students. However, when she spoke, she only talked at one person.
Kelly gave her some constructive tips about eye contact:
1) Pick one person per point. Finish your sentence, get that silent confirmation that they got it, and move on.
2) Feel free to move around the room to address different areas, especially if there is an obstacle obstructing the audience's view of you.
The student told the story again, and connected with each of the audiences members. We felt her presence, and became more familiar with her experiences.
To read more about Dr. Mehrabian’s studies, visithttp://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/body_language/mehrabian.htm
Why deep breathing really does relax you:
Nerves aren’t helping anyone, especially not you, so calm down your brain with deep breaths. The brain is fueled by oxygen, but when nerves kick in, the body’s fight-or-flight system diverts blood and oxygen to the muscles. But you probably won’t be running around the stage, and that extra blood creates an all-too-familiar twitchy, shaky feeling in your muscles.
Esther Sternberg is a physician, author of several books on health and stress, and researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health. She explains that deep breathing brings your body back from the brink of flight response.
"The relaxation response is controlled by another set of nerves — the main nerve being the Vagus nerve. Think of a car throttling down the highway at 120 miles an hour. That's the stress response, and the Vagus nerve is the brake," says Sternberg. "When you are stressed, you have your foot on the gas, pedal to the floor. When you take slow, deep breaths, that is what is engaging the brake.”
Give your brain plenty of air, it’ll thank you. In addition to calming nerves in the brain, there is evidence suggesting conscious diaphragm breathing can improve brain growth and gene expression.
The WTR proof:
One long-time WTR client is fantastic at developing content. She is fluent in three languages, so she obviously has a strong grip on speaking. WTR's biggest piece of advice to her was to open her breath. Of course, that's usually a totally unfamiliar sensation for most people, so Kelly's stage acting knowledge was incredibly useful. Kelly told her to stand with her arms parellel to the floor, like a cross. She held her arms slightly behind the shoulders, and had the student speak again.
The results were instant and apparent. Our student could now project her voice farther into the room, using richer tones and speaking from the diaphragm. Even after she lowered her arms, the feeling stayed, and she can continue to work on diaphragm breathing. It's a very difficult tasks, but the only way we get there is with baby steps!
Take deep breaths and visit these websites to learn more:
Why posture affects your confidence, scientifically:
Power posing. Just like actors need vocal warm-up (Tie twine on three tree’s twigs, red leather yellow leather), and dancers need to limber up at barre, speakers need to pre-boost their confidence levels before a moment of vulnerability.
Amy Cuddy in her famous 2012 TEDGlobal talk explained that our stance increases our confidence and will to take risks through hormone elevation. In her scientific study, spit samples were taken at a baseline level, then right before an interview. Subjects were told to hold either high-power or low-power poses for two minutes prior to entering. Their results were significant. Those who had held high-power poses had increased testosterone levels and were far more likely to gamble, which is necessary when you put yourself out there.
What can we learn from Amy Cuddy? She showed us that two little minutes can make all the difference, so we ought to warm up correctly. Rather than staring at your phone, hunched up in a chair before an interview, stand up and execute a power pose. You’ll be steadier on your feet, confident, and assertive.
So your first thought might have been “okay so I need to pose during my speech, right?” No. Unfortunately a lot of power poses look pretty ridiculous and usually involve emulating a comic book hero. They also increase the visibility of sweat stains, yikes. But the neurological results are more than worth it. The absurdity of privately holding a pose for two minutes might seem a little fake, but fake it ‘till you make it! No one will know, and it’s worth it to feel more confident.
Once you’ve assumed Wonder Woman position for a couple minutes, had a drink of water, and calmy reviewed what you’re going to say, just go for it.
The WTR proof:
WTR once had a huge task in front of us. Not because our student was bad at public speaking, he was just 6'5". He was already in a position of great power, just taking up so much space. Yet, when he spoke, you felt that the words were dropping on the floor immediately in front of him. There are three spheres of influence: one-on-one, small audience, and stadium proportions. This client only filled the first spher.
To draw this guy out of his shell, Kelly whipped out some pretty unconventional coaching strategies. Kelly, who stands at 5'4", pulled the student's arms back and told him to resist. He was in a much more open position: chest open, shoulders down, and leaning slightly forward. From that position, his speech filled the room and he appeared more confident. Power posing works, and with almost instaneous results. One day, with enough practice, he'll be able to project that kind of power all on his own.
To watch Amy’s famous TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc