Beyond the Conscious:
Optimizing Non-conscious Impact of Any Presentations
Mastering the art of presentation is essential in professional and personal life. Your style of presentation affects every interaction you have. It determines people's attitudes and feelings towards you, how they respond to you.
The Optimal Presentation skill set is unique and moves beyond the usual approach to speechmaking. It taps into hidden reserves of the brain and enables you to become a speaker with greater impact. In addition to looking at the formal structure and content areas of your presentation, you will be shown how you can touch your audience at a non-conscious level through the use of your voice, your non-verbal behavior, the stimuli of the setting and context of your work.
If you want to tap into your own charisma, capture the hearts as well as the minds of your listeners, or evoke a commitment for action, you will learn how to engage your whole self in complex purposeful behavior. You will stimulate the audience and engage its full attention.
Would you like to Optimize Your Presentation and Communication Skills?
- Do you want to make your ideas very convincing?
- Can you achieve extraordinary impact with minimum words and selective movement?
- Do you know how to increase the understanding of your concepts and ideas?
- Can you deliver large amounts of information, even complex information, into participants' long-term memory?
- Do you inspire confidence & respect when you speak?
- Can you tell a story so that it intrigues the listeners and expands their responses?
- Are you a master of your movement and body language?
- Do you wish to transform anxiety into positive creative energy?
The Barzak Educational Institute offers private coaching, and small group customized workshops to hone your formal or informal presentation skills.
Whether you are being coached privately or within a workshop, we will help you achieve greater rapport with your audience, create impact, relax with concentration, use stories and metaphors, and if desired, integrate art stimuli. you will also experience a release from stress and performance anxiety.
The importance of establishing rapport with your audiences cannot be emphasized enough. The first contact can make or break a speaker. On a basic level rapport with your audience includes the way you approach the "podium," choice of dress, eye contact and facial expression, body posture and gestures.
from the Communications for Impact Program
On a more advanced level, however, rapport requires the presenter to be well aware and in control of his/her subtle signals and the nonverbal communications which s/he projects. These include:
A masterful rapport also includes 1) acknowledging the presence and feelings of your audience; and 2) a special initial interaction with your listeners, both verbal and nonverbal, which serves as a springboard for a smooth and well-accepted presentation.
- Confidence or lack of it
- Love of subject matter or lack of it
- Hidden anxiety due to stage fright or feeling pressed for time
- Enjoyment or boredom with the presentation itself
- Respect or disrespect for your audience
A good presenter must use a clear voice, well-articulated speech and non-distracting gestures. However, with these attributes alone you cannot possibly achieve sufficient impact on your audience. In OptimaLearning we emphasize the importance of:
In addition, we give special attention to:
- Establishing and maintaining suspense throughout your presentation
- Creating maximum receptivity in your listeners
- Stimulating listeners' continuous interest
You may also receive directions for how and when to use music with a specialized technique in order to help the audience retain information in long-term memory.
- Managing your platform presence and self-pacing
- Maximum control of space throughout the presentation
- Specialized use of rhythm in voice and body movement
- Vocal intonation for increased suggestibility
- Deliberate and subtle gestures to emphasize your message
Experience clearly shows that when the presenter is relaxed and at ease from the beginning and throughout his/her speech, ideas come easier to mind and one strengthens his/her attention to detail. Recent brain studies show, however, that not every relaxation procedure has the same effect on memory and performance. The most effective type appears to be the one which enables you to be relaxed and alert at the same time.
In OptimaLearning we use special techniques for optimizing performance to:
Throughout the ages speakers of every culture have abundantly used stories and metaphor to heighten interest and motivation. A well-chosen and properly placed story will not only serve as a powerful change of rhythm, but also will:
- Bring about a feeling of calmness, familiarity and well-being
- Help the mind concentrate easily on the task at hand (that is the presentation itself)
- Achieve maximum concentration of your energy at the key moments of the presentation.
The OptimaLearning technology draws on various brain research from Europe and North America (Lozanov, Gray, LaViolette, Gazzaniga, Pribram, Diamond). Many of these findings indicate that to absorb and store information easily in the long-term memory, information has to be rendered emotionally significant and relevant to the personal values of the participants or students.
- Make the content of your presentation intriguing and more personal
- Transfer a key idea or ideas to a different contextual level
- Elucidate your concept so that it is remembered better
Stories, metaphors, parables and aphorisms, when used with precision, serve as excellent means towards achieving this goal. In addition, the symbolism in a good story resonates with the way the brain encodes information in a symbolic manner. This in turn improves comprehension and memorization.
We also place a strong emphasis on storytelling. By mastering the art of storytelling, you will learn to make any type of presentation suspenseful, thought provoking, and easily remembered, no matter how technical the content.
Another motivator for your audience is the effective use of art and other visual stimuli such as photos, objects and flowers. They act to a greater or lesser extent on an unconscious level. A beautiful photograph, an art print or poster by a great painter can add imperceptibly, but significantly, to the emotional impact of your presentation.
Various neurophysiological studies have strongly indicated that the brain encodes information together with environments and feelings associated with it. Subsequently a thoughtfully chosen piece of art, if used meaningfully, will contribute to the overall pleasant and relaxed feeling which you create. On a subtle level, it will also augment the significance of your content and increase retention. This in turn will boost your prestige as a presenter.
In OptimaLearning, along with specific guidelines on how to use art, special attention is given to the principle of "Variety-Economy-Balance" (V-E-B). As a presenter, you can accomplish more with less if you know how and when to do so.
If your content is heavily laden (technically or emotionally), this type of visual orchestration will also provide balance and /or psychological respite, if you so desire.
Another important OptimaLearning technique, based on more than 30 years of research and experimentation is Peripheral (marginal) Perception. In this technique key information (facts, figures, and vocabulary) is embedded in a colorful aid (chart, diagram, drawing, poster, etc). This visual aid is clearly in view, but attention is purposely not drawn to it by the presenter. Instead, s/he refers to the information in a different context. The effect is an increase in the absorption rate and retention in the long-term memory.
Presentations become optimal, we find, when visual orchestration as well as story or metaphor are used with economy and precision.
In summary, masterful use of voice and movement, stories and metaphors, and art stimuli will make your presentation convincing and charismatic, will augment memory and comprehension, and will leave a lasting impression with your audience.
© Ivan Barzakov, 2009
What People are Saying
After working with Dr. Barzakov, I not only lost my anxiety when I made presentations in my company and for clients, I also felt a new surge of energy and creativity while speaking. Even when we discuss controversial issues afterwards, the audience seems to sense my confidence and sincerity.
—R.J., San Jose
When I used your Optima skills for the first time, I received a standing ovation at my church. It is amazing how easy speaking becomes when I am truly aligning all my verbal and nonverbal communications . . . . Thanks, Ivan and Pamela, for taking the thorns away and helping me blossom as a speaker.