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Allan Pease: 15 top tips for better communication

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Allan PeaseAllan Pease, has over 40 years experience in researching relationships and human communication. He teaches simple, field-tested skills and techniques that get results. At the ILP Future of Learning Cconference he was as charismatic and entertaining as ever, offering some excellent tips and clues on how to change your behaviour for the better and how to read people during meetings and other face-to-face encounters.

Here are 15 top tips we picked up from his keynote address:

1. Never take one gesture just on its own - this can be misleading 2. At least three things must happen concurrently in order to determine what is going through a persons mind - this is known as "clusters" 3. The easiest way to give off confidence and authority is to smile a full smile using your whole face 4. When adjusting any body language features, practice is key - it may feel strange but practice in the mirror 5. As a speaker always have a few joke / anecdote lines to save you in-case something goes wrong like a technical hitch or heckling and you lose your focus. This will help you to remain calm and keep command of the room 6. Tip to get the job - look someone in the face when you talk to them. It signifies they have your full attention and demonstrates trust and confidence. 7. Body language is an outward reflection of your emotions - you can manipulate emotions by using a series of gestures to change how you feel 8. Want to know what to do with your hands? A simple steeple or hand on hand when in front of audience - this demonstrates you are calm and in control 9. Hand shake - Keep your palm straight and apply same pressure as you receive 10. Someone touching their chin or lips demonstrates an evaluation process - they are looking at pros and cons 11. Raised eyebrows are a silent way of acknowledging and recognising - often from across the room 12. If you have a room full of people with their arms crossed being defensive - get them to raise their hand for voting questions, or get them all to shake hands. Sometimes you need a physical activity to awaken an audience 13. A 15 degree head tilt means the audience is interested 14. A large audience is easier to read as you can assess indicators from more people - this allows you to identify trends quickly, and change accordingly 15. Mirroring someone is an instinctive way of making them feel comfortable

How you look, appear and behave will determine if people like, respect and warm to you - don't underestimate the importance of body language.  Learning a few techniques to read people better and to come across in a positive way, will help you build better relationships and be more confident.

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