The Winning Voice

Best in class communication techniques from Michael Kelly

‘Calm the arm’ technique

Recently in a ‘Becoming a leader – Strategies for developing a leadership identity’ workshop, I was coaching a woman as she delivered a stand-up mini-presentation. My feedback to her was to ‘quiet’ one of her arms. In effect I suggested that she gesture with just one arm (either right or left) and keep the other arm still beside her torso. She had been gesturing with both arms in front of her body which distracted the audience from her spoken messages.

After reflecting on my feedback with her syndicate group colleagues, she came up with a mantra to remind her to still an arm. The mantra was: ‘Calm the arm’.

This mantra’s simple message and rhyme made it memorable to the participants throughout the workshop.

The ‘how to apply’ for this post: In the next seven days in safe, sales presentations, interactions and/or meetings intentionally daily practice this ‘Calm the arm’ technique and reflect on the impact of doing so.

2 Comments

  • John Groarke

    November 2, 2012, 7:26 am

    Thanks for drawing attention to what is a very common affliction!

    But do we need to ‘calm the arm’ when delivering training courses and workshops?

    • michael

      November 6, 2012, 6:45 am

      Yes John. In any type of speaking the calm the arm technique is relevant. In addition to not distracting your audience from your spoken message, the calm the arm technique helps you to avoid closing off your body (eg. clasping the hands in front of your body). Having a calm arm by the side of your body also makes it more available to support your spoken messages. Please see the post: ‘Spencer Tracy – using your hands advice’
      http://www.kellyspeech.com.au/?s=spencer+tracy Thank you for your comment

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