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TEDx Talks – How To Speak: 3 Secrets To Increase Your Personal Impact

How To Speak: 3 Secrets To Increase Your Personal Impact

Discover the science behind increasing your personal impact, influence and connection in the latest video from TEDx Talks.

As I stood on the TEDx stage in Bristol, I felt a rush of emotions. For over 40 years, I’ve been on a quest to unravel the mysteries of human connection. This journey has been deeply personal, shaped by my experiences of being introverted and autistic.

I vividly remember my first day at a new school when I was just four years old. Sitting alone at a tiny table, desperately trying to connect with my peers, only to be met with laughter and isolation. That moment left an indelible mark, igniting a lifelong curiosity about what it means to truly connect with others.

My journey led me to explore communication on many levels. From studying communication theory to living among Tibetan monks in the Himalayas, I immersed myself in diverse cultures and experiences, searching for the elusive secret to genuine connection.

It was during my early career as an actor that I had a breakthrough. Through the art of storytelling, body language, and emotional presence, I discovered the power to forge deep connections both on stage and off.

But, it wasn’t until I embarked on a rigorous research study with esteemed psychologists at UCL that I fully grasped the impact of nonverbal cues on connection. Simple adjustments in body language can elevate perceptions of confidence, charisma, and leadership.

Vulnerability is key

Drawing from this wealth of experience, I developed the “head, hands, and heart” framework, which forms the cornerstone of my TEDx presentation, How To Speak. By engaging the survival mind, emotional mind, and logical mind in communication, we can captivate and inspire others with our ideas.

Yet, amongst the wealth of knowledge and research findings, I stumbled upon a profound truth: vulnerability is the key to authentic connection. This revelation struck me to my core, forcing me to confront my own emotional barriers and insecurities.

So, how can we embrace all of the above? Here are the three secrets to increasing connection and your personal impact.

How to speak

  1. Engage the Head: To increase personal impact in communication, focus on engaging the three essential parts of the brain: the survival mind, emotional mind, and logical mind. Start by sharing relatable challenges (survival mind), followed by emotionally compelling stories (emotional mind), and conclude with logical solutions or actions (logical mind). This approach helps captivate listeners and compel them to engage with your ideas.
  1. Use your hands: Pay attention to your body language and gestures, as they significantly impact how others perceive you. Stand or sit in a confident posture to convey authority and gravitas. Use congruent gestures to enhance cognitive processing and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Remember, subtle adjustments in nonverbal cues can significantly increase perceptions of confidence, charisma, and leadership.
  1. Connect with the heart: True human connection requires courage and vulnerability. Instead of hiding behind emotional masks, show up as your authentic self, even if it means risking rejection or discomfort. Share your personal stories and emotions to create genuine connections with others. 

In a world yearning for connection, each of us has the power to make a difference. By sharing our stories, being aware of our and others’ non-verbal cues, and embracing vulnerability, we can create a ripple effect of unity and healing that transcends boundaries and transforms lives.

This, I believe, is the essence of human connection —an idea worth sharing and a journey worth embarking upon.