LEARN from the IDEAL Orator – CICERO
“He must practice an economy of movement, with no extraneous effort – the carriage of his body straight and lofty; his pacing measured and kept within bounds; lunging only to the point, and rarely; without effeminacy in turning his head . . .”
These are Marcus Tullius Cicero’s words describing a persuasive speaker, in his book On the Ideal Orator. The suggestion and the one below will help you better present yourself and your ideas in meetings, presentations, interactions and encounters.
Here’s the other suggestion, “. . . no little stage business with his hands; no ‘conducting himself’ to a beat; but governing himself in the expression of his whole body, with a manly torsion from the waist,
using powerful gestures when moved, and none at all when calm.”
Women shouldn’t be put off by the “manly torsion” comment. This was ancient Roman society after all.
Let me give my deconstruction of Cicero’s quotes and how they apply to your personal communication:
- ‘practice an economy of movement’: This refers to having as your default standing posture as follows: Arms hanging by your side. Your default sitting posture with your arms still and uncrossed on the table.
- ‘the carriage of his body straight and lofty’: Make your posture straight and lofty when sitting and standing by making your neck ‘long’ at the back and by imagining a puppeteer pulling a string from the top of your head to the ceiling. When sitting, feel the back of the chair and keep your feet ‘planted’ on the floor.
- ‘lunging only to the point . . . without effeminacy in turning his head’: This refers to – in most cases – gesturing only when making a strong point. Keeping your head still reduces ‘visual noise’.
- ‘no little stage business with his hands’; This refers to keeping your hands and fingers still. For example, only use a pen or tap on your tablet when needed.
Own the Conversation
With regard to Cicero’s suggestions and because first impressions on entering a room are powerful,
For the NEXT SEVEN days do this:
Use any time you enter a room, as a trigger to carry your body straight and lofty. Picture these words at the top of every doorway you’re about to enter.
‘Enter Straight Lofty’
p.s. Recently a business friend of mine told me he was about to go for a job interview. He wanted to re-watch one of my Confident Personal Communication, video learning clips on ‘How to land a job by winning the first 75 seconds’. Here is a LINK to this powerful two minute clip. as well as a couple of other clips.