Posts Tagged ‘communication skills’

How to talk with your hands

French Bartender Using Gestures and Expressions While Talking Behind the Bar

It was a July day in 1975, and Judge Rudolph T. Randa’s municipal courtroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was packed. As the defendant stood before sentencing, the judge asked if he had anything he wanted to say on his own behalf.

Needing to use his hands to speak his piece, the defendant automatically pulled them from his pockets … where he’d been holding up pants that were four sizes too big. His trousers fell to the floor. No underwear. Thus the defendant’s unplanned statement was to moon the crowded courtroom.

The poor man quickly pulled up his pants as the spectators tried to smother their snickers. But with the guard’s admonishment to “keep your hands in your pockets,” he probably found it even more difficult to come up with appropriate words for his circumstances.

A recent study conducted at the University of Birmingham in England found that talking with your hands triggers mental images that helps people solve complex problems involving spatial visualization. In other words, people who use their hands when talking find it easier to put things in mental order. Other studies have found that people tend to view those who talk with their hands as more warm, agreeable, and energetic … and those who don’t as more cold and calculating.

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Control emotions with this tip

Atlantic Puffin Appears to Imitate a Decoy by Standing on One Leg, on Eastern Egg Rock, Maine

Oooh, I just lost my temper. Some days that’s easy to do. I’ve been struggling with a pounding migraine, plus the accompanying nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, so my tolerance tank is running low.

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3 weapons to sink stage fright

Mister Roberts

Many naval officers did extraordinary things during World War II, including Iowan Thomas Heggen who served aboard the USS Virgo. But Heggen’s lasting contribution didn’t occur in the heat of battle. It happened in the quiet of his quarters as the 26-year-old penned his only novel, Mister Roberts.

Written at sea during 1944, the war classic was published in 1946, became an instant hit, and was later adapted into a Tony Award–winning play, an Oscar-winning film, a telefilm, and even a short-lived 1960s TV series.

Since the war had ended by the time his book rolled off the presses, Heggen’s publishers expected him to make public appearances to promote his work. Fighting the enemy in the Pacific Theater was one thing. But the shy Iowan was terrified at the thought of … gasp! … public speaking.

In The Almanac of American Letters, Randy F. Nelson recounts Heggen’s appearance at a formal luncheon in New York. Overwhelmed with stage fright, he stood speechless at the microphone. Finally, someone seated nearby whispered, “Perhaps you can tell us how you wrote your book.”

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