Non Verbal Communication in Presentations

Presentation skills, conversation skills and writing skills are the three keys to effective communication. In this post, I’d like to focus on some tips for using non verbal communication to improve your presentation skills.

Eye contact helps indicates your interest in the people in the audience. It increases your credibility. When you make eye contact with people in the audience, you increase your chances of getting your message across. Eye contact helps you establish a connection with the audience. When you make eye contact with people as you are speaking, you build one to one bonds with them.

Smiles are powerful – I always try to keep a smile on my face when I am speaking. Smiling makes a speaker more warm, likable and friendly. When you smile, people see you as happy — and this makes them more receptive to you. People react positively to smiles. When you smile, the audience smiles. And a smiling audience is a receptive audience. Smiling will help you get your points across and accepted.

Gestures are another important form of non verbal communication. But you have to be careful with gestures. I practice my talks in front of a mirror. As I’m speaking, I watch my natural gestures. Then I enhance them. Usually, I amplify my gestures, because big rooms demand big gestures. However, sometimes, I tone them down — depending on the audience. Regardless, I focus on making my gestures natural and reflective of what I’m saying. I try to avoid choppy, sudden gestures when I’m speaking. Instead, I focus on making my gestures fluid.

Posture and body orientation – I always stand up straight and look directly at the audience. Standing straight and looking directly at the audience indicates confidence. I use posture to make points though. If I am speaking about confidence and want to give an example of an unconfident person, I slump my shoulders and look at the floor. Spend most of your time oriented toward the audience. If you’re using slides, speak to the audience, not the slide. It’s OK to look at a slide — especially if you want to draw the audience’s attention to it, but always turn back to the audience after a few seconds.

Proximity - Unlike many speakers, I like to get away from the platform and walk the room. This means that I get up close and personal with people in the audience. I have a wireless device to advance slides, so I am not tied to my computer. I find that audiences like it. As I walk the room, people feel that I’m more a part of them, having a conversation with them, rather than talking at them. This doesn’t work with very large audiences — which I define as over 100 people. However, even if you are speaking to a large audience and need to remain on the platform, I suggest using a wireless device to advance your slides. You won’t be tied to your computer, and you’ll appear more natural.

Your voice - Be animated — avoid speaking in a monotone. Show excitement for your material with your voice. I always practice my talks out loud — that way I hear my voice and the words I am using. This helps me modify my delivery in ways that will improve my impact with my audience.

If you use these non verbal communication ideas you’ll become someone whose presentations carry an impact — and you’ll be on your way to career and life success.

Amos Tutuola’s Character Presentation Is As Varied As In A Novel

Tutuola’s substantial and credible character presentation:

In spite of their simplicity, Tutuola’s principal characters are substantial and credible. The Palmwine Drinkard, is clearly established in the reader’s mind as a shrewd, witty, easy-going Yoruba. Because of his inordinate appetite for palm wine and his magical powers he looks like a larger than life figure. All along we follow his quest with interest and empathy for his struggling through. But his wife doesn’t as much as marginally come off. She makes no impact on the reader. The little revealed of her is from the episode of the complete gentleman when she is described as: “… very beautiful as an angel but no man could convince her for marriage.” Up to the Drinkard’s announcement of his marriage to her, little more about her was known. Not as much as a word was said to have come from her. Neither was any kind of regret expressed for her mistake. She has therefore failed to express neither a view nor an emotion to prove her existence.

Simbi, who for Collins is “a more substantial and credible character,” [P.29] comes off well because of the good deal of light shown on her throughout the romance. Many of her qualities are boldly outlined. She is the daughter of a wealthy woman. She is an only child and has been brought up in luxury. She is also a lovely girl with a fine singing voice. But Simbi grows weary of her pleasant life and longs to experience. “….the Poverty and the “Punishment.” She prays to know the meaning of poverty and punishment and her dangerous prayer is quickly answered. At first she is a fun-lover. Being the only issue of her wealthy mother who brought her up in luxury, she was not working at all, except to eat and to bathe and then to wear several kinds of the costliest garments. She spends most of her time singing in the village where she is reputed to be the most beautiful and the most merry making girl.” with her fine singing voice to match.

As she and her two friends Rali and Sala, are inseparably linked: “they would not be happy without seeing each other in a moment.”[SSDJ P7] So on losing her friends, she is shattered emotionally. Now turned gloomy and pessimistic, she longs for a different life through which she will experience poverty and punishment. Her quest for these bring in her sobering changes. In the end she learns an important lesson – never to disobey her parents. She not only profits personally from the experience but also ensures that the message is spread out to all and sundry. She now goes from house to house “warning all the children that it was a great mistake to a girl who did not obey her parents” [S.S.D.J.p.136

Of all Simbi's friends only Bako has real individuality. She comes off as a comical and paranoid figure-living the experiences of her twin partner, however far off she may be. As she says: "If she steals something at home thus I too will steal something." [ S.S.D.J.p.48]

The Satyr, though apparently monstrous, emerges as a compelling figure. When seen in the darkness with his “goggling” eyes illuminating the area, and his great and horrible voice looming out, his victims are frightened out of their wits. Most of his statements such as this one portraying an unscrupulous and blood thirsty being could be seen in: “I believe that two ladies shall come back to this jungle and I shall kill both of them at all costs, at any day I meet them. It is certain they are my meat” [SSDJp80]

Ajaiyi in Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty comes off well simply because of his moral development. His original quest to annul his poverty by whatever means makes itself available leads to his resolute stance at the devil’s abode against acquiring wealth through devilish intrigues such as sacrificing his sister and shortening his lifespan. One would have thought, regardless of his strong attachment to his sister, his original determination to acquire wealth could have led him to move towards that end without any scruples. When first introduced to him, we are given the impression that we are encountering yet another of Tutuola’s super-humans for he is said to have lived another life “about two hundred years ago when he first came to this world through another father and mother By that time I was a boy and not a girl, by that time I was the poorest farmer and not as a story teller, by that time I was the most wicked gentile and the strongest worshipper of all the false Gods and not a Christian, by that time I was the poorest among the people of my village and not the richest…… [A.H.I.P. p11]

Though portrayed as a “wicked gentile and the strongest worshipper of all the false god’s “Ajaiyi throughout the romance projects an image to the contrary. In his transactions with his pawn brokers and his relationship with his treacherous friend, Ade, he remains patient, benevolent and forgiving. Even when Ade proves treacherous, he still remains devoted to him by “trying all my best to see that he was released by the King”, when detained, and even when dead he sits down near his body, driving away flies from it and “weeping bitterly for the death of my friend” [A.H.I.P. Pp65-6]

Unfortunately, so much could not be said for the development of Aina’s individuality. Only in the episode of the Kola Tree are we obliged just a cursory glimpse of her. She presents there the picture of an accommodating, merciful and tender-hearted person. Once she has shown her offender the dangers of her deeds she is content on having the matter resolved. She ends the conflict pleading:. It will be a great pity if this daughter is killed with a vengeance in respect of my kola-nut tree which was cut down when her mother Babi insisted to take the head of her broken pitcher back ten years ago. Her mother did that so that I might not get the kola nuts to sell again. So now, I believe if we continue to pay bad for bad, bad shall never finish on earth! Therefore, I forgive Babi what she had done to my Kola-nut tree! [A.H.I.P. p82]

Yet another credible character is the Witch Mother. At first she appears pleasant and benevolent. Despite Ajaiyi and his friends’ breaking into her house uninvited and starting to run about pursued by the mysterious lumps of iron, she does not react irascibly. She rather helps in stopping them. But later on she is shown off for the vicious person she really is. She is, by her own confession, the most wicked witch. She takes the life of even her own prodigy to sacrifice to her fellow witches. In the end she escapes the Spirits’ intrigue through sheer cunning.

In Tutuola, man is at odds with hostile elements, the jungle, vicious monsters and supernatural beings. In these situations man always emerges as capable and able to confront or even circumvent the menaces of those inimical forces. The Drinkard, Simbi and Ajaiyi all triumph over the wild monsters and spirits of the impenetrable jungle that their quests lead them to. These triumphs are marked off by noble deeds of moral dimension. The Drinkard settles the cosmic quarrel between the Sky God and the Earth Goddess, thus ending the famine which tormented his town. Simbi saves her town “from the ravages of Dogo” the heartless slave-raider and warns others from disobeying their parents’ advice; Ajaiyi, on running into wealth, uses his money to build churches in his and his benefactors’ villages and dedicates himself to spreading virtue and the message of God abroad. All the heroes grow spiritually as well. In the end Drinkard understands the meaning of life and death. Simbi emerges with a vivid experience of the agony of poverty and punishment and the ills of defying parental advice, Ajaiyi comes off with a strong conviction that money is the root of all evils. These profound knowledge acquired equip them to live better lives thereafter. In effect the journey through all the varying territories are processes of spiritual purification.

Didactic and moral values of Tutuola’s romances:

Tutuola’s romances show strong didactic values as well. Various episodes bear lessons for the reader. In The Palm Wine Drinkard, the episode of the “Complete Gentleman” demonstrates the folly of disobeying parents, for it leads the lady to harrowing experiences with the skulls. The deceptiveness of appearances alluded to in “all that glitters is not gold” is vividly exemplified by the gradual degeneration of the beauty’ of the Complete Gentleman. How dangerous it is to disobey parental advice is discerned in Simbi and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle.. This is because:”the dog which will lose will not pay heed to the call of its master” Simbi, realizing her mistake in the course of the book, admits. “If I were not a silly person I should have obeyed my mother’s and other person’s warning” .

Ajaiyi and his Inherited Poverty has the greater number of episodes bearing moral lessons of all of Tutuola’s works. At the Creator’s abode the virtues of honesty are extolled through the demonstration of the direful fate awaiting the dishonest after death. Ajaiyi also learns through his visit that the pursuit of wealth is the root of all evils in the world. He therefore avoids selling his soul to the devil though he has to be in the burden of this talking lump.

Ajaiyi and his sister learn after their capture by the kidnapper how useful it is to ask questions whenever one is in doubt. Their trouble could have been avoided if only they had asked their father the meaning of “Remember the Day after Tomorrow.” The reprehensibility of jealousy is shown when Babi’s jealously forcing Aina to cut her productive kola-nut-tree nearly led to the decapitation of her (Babi’s) daughter’s head. This is only forestalled by Aina’s realization that “if we continue to pay bad for bad, bad shall never finish on earth” and she thus forgives her.

Unusual Presents: A Top 5

I like unusual presents. They’re so much more fun than usual presents. Opening unusual presents is like tucking into a pie without knowing about its filling, or boarding a place whose destination remains unknown. You might love what you find, you might hate it. But regardless, it’s way more exciting than receiving a voucher or a CD. Plus, unusual gifts show that you’ve put some thought into it, so on that basis take a look at some of our suggestions…

St Andrews Golf Course Hickory Putter

If you’re having difficulties buying for a golf geek, this will solve all your problems. This classic hickory putter was particularly popular during the 1880s and consists of a maple head, hickory shaft and either a leather or suede grip. It’s completely handmade, finished in the St Andrews workshop and includes personalisation of up to 15 characters engraved on the shaft.

Personalised Classics

Unusual gifts, unique gifts, daft gifts – call them what you will, personalised classics will undoubtedly raise a smile, whether you’ve got them starring in Dracula, Treasure Island or Wuthering Heights. All in all, there are 12 masterpieces to pick from, with every one of them allowing you to change the names of six lead characters to those of your choice.

An Acre of Moon

Here’s an opportunity to own a piece of real estate on the moon. It’s absolutely for real, thanks to a loophole in The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 that was discovered by American, Dennis M. Hope. You’ll get an acre of our moon, along with a pack containing the lunar deed, sight map, the lunar constitution and Bill of Rights, and a Declaration of Ownership transcript.

Personalised Retro Sweets

Cola bottles, flying saucers, jelly beans – you name it and chances are you’ll find your retro sweet of choice in the collection of personalised sweet jars available online. There are all sorts of combinations available, with 1.8 and 4.5 litre jars to choose from, both of which feature your chosen name on the label. Or if you want to be really indulgent, you’ll even find a couple of hampers, too.

Personalised Beano Goodies

Unusual gifts don’t get more menacing than something from the personalised Beano range. An ideal match for youngsters and reminiscers alike, you’ll find birthday books, calendars, mugs and posters, all of which can be personalised with the chosen name so that they become ‘The Menace’.