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Body Language Tips for Pitching Entrepreneurs
by Startacus Admin
Body language tips for pitching entrepreneurs: Start with posture
Mariana Lucia Marquez is the co-founder of recently awarded Startup of the WeekMetaSpeech.com a public speaking consultancy that helps entrepreneurs upgrade their non-verbal communication. MetaSpeech are regular speakers at Google Campus and the trailblazing "Campus for Mums" and hold office hours at Incubus, Innovation Warehouse, TechHub, LaunchPad22. Here they share with Startacus some valuable body language tips that all pitching entrepreneurs need to know.
Over to Mariana to explain all...
“You may have heard that people will generally believe what they see over what they hear. An entrepreneur who collapses his chest while talking about his amazing startup is no exception. People will go with their gut feeling that something is off, something they cannot quite pinpoint is giving them a strange impression.
Since the dawn of time, human brains have evolved and become hard-wired to interpret and react to non-verbal cues. In cave-people times, a person walking towards you holding one of their hands behind their back could mean grave danger. Explanations were not easy to give or receive, so alertness was necessary.
Despite the evolution in our communication abilities, this wiring remains fixed in the oldest part of our brains. That is why if your hands are not visible during a business meeting you risk making people uncomfortable as their brains will ring the distrust alarm.
Posture is the most visible non-verbal cue we are constantly sending out. It is what holds us together and “frames” us in front of others. A simple upright posture communicates that we are “put together” because in order to stand straight we need to physically hold ourselves.
Here are six simple techniques to make sure you are presenting yourself clearly and confidently. Warning: you might need to pull out your anatomy manual.
1 Ground your feet. Keeping your feet parallel to each other you want to “anchor” them on the floor. DO NOT MOVE them. Think of your feet as the roots that keep your body steady and enable your mind to focus on what you are saying.
2 Engage your Abs. This is where that gym membership pays off. When speaking engage your abs just a tad (5%) so you contain yourself and bring your energy up towards the chest.
3 Open your chest. Using the light pull of your core muscles will now find it easier to open your shoulders. Practice pounding on your chest like a gorilla to make sure the shoulders are open. Take a mental note of what this feels like so you can recall it later. Think that if you were wearing a diamond necklace or a designer bow tie, you wouldn’t want to hide it away, right?
4 Imagine you have an antenna at the top of your head and you need it to be as high as possible for good connectivity.
When sitting: Sit in the centre of the seat. This will block your access to the backrest and force your pelvis to stay upright by lightly engaging your spinal and core muscles. If you have a tendency to slouch, when you slouch sitting in the centre of a chair you’ll still look more engaged than if you slouch against the backrest.
When standing: The antenna image should make you till your chin down slightly. Again, this will engage your spine and core muscles slightly helping you to stand straight.
5 Breathe in & out. Breathing will help you to relax into the posture rather and stop you from looking too rigid. So breathe in and out as deeply as you can. Imagine your breath filling up your body and emptying it. Your new posture should now feel a bit less awkward!
6 Adjust the mind. Now you need one last mental adjustment in order to match your fearless physical attitude. Body and mind do not operate separately, they feed each other for better or worse. So tell yourself: It is all about them understanding me, it’s not about me.
Your are like a tree (grounded/rooted) coming out of the gym (engage abs) wearing a beautiful diamond necklace or designer bow tie (open chest), connecting to the heavens with your antenna (stand tall), relaxed and flexible(breathe in & out), and your mind is focused only on your audience understanding you.
Practice holding this posture in different situations, formal and informal, until it becomes comfortable. You’ll be amazed at how different you feel about yourself and how other see you.”
**Note from Editor** Thanks Mariana, a great and helpful read!
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Based in and around London and interested in upgrading your Pitching Skills?
Members of the Startacus community of startups, entrepreneurs, and self-starters can get a 20% discount on a 3 x 60 minute session package care of Metaspeech. This would normally cost £450 but Startacus members can get it for £360. Click Metaspeech for all the details.
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