Leaders, public speakers and anyone in a position of influence need to develop a sense of dilation when preparing to speak, meet, influence, pitch or perform through face to face communication.
What am I talking about? Am I talking about the pupils of the eye dilating when you enter a darkened room? Well, sort of.
Dilation is defined as the action or condition of becoming or being made wider, larger or more open.
So what does this mean and why is it relevant to leaders and communicators?
Let’s take a step back. What‘s the point of public speaking? Actors and professional speakers understand that they are there to move people from one position to another. To move you to tears, to change your view, to enlighten you about a particular point of view, to engage you in a new or refreshed way on a subject that might have turned a bit stale…? You get the point.
In order to accelerate this influence and for it to be energised, impactful and memorable, the communicator needs to dilate!
In the terms of a being a more influential leader and communicator, Dilation happens when:
1. The speaker’s energy is controlled
2. The gestures are energised for instance hand gestures – so that the message is fully committed and not diluted by weak energy that allows the gestures to ‘leak’ away. Imagine the energy flowing through the ends of your fingers and out into the atmosphere. Don’t stop the energy flowing too soon, otherwise your fingers might look like damp lettuces at the ends of your arms!
3. The words used are energised. The vocal delivery is fully supported by the diaphragm and is clear and resonant. The delivery ‘hums’ and hits the target. There is a sense of crescendo in the energy of your speech.
4. The thoughts are present and alive! The speaker is fully alert to what is going on around him or her.
5. The atmosphere is electric. The speaker is reaching out to the audience with strong stories that stimulate the audience’s imagination – so that they are fully engaged.
Another way to look at Dilation is to regard the whole process of communication as an energy flow similar to that of a river or a sea tide that carries any debris or blockages along with it and builds towards its call to action. Irrepressible, unstoppable, irresistible.
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