In developing personal brand, body language is usually the elephant in the room. We all know its there but no one pays attention to. Research studies show that body language count for a whooping 60% of our total communications. The nonverbal signals make up a huge part of our daily communications.
In this episode, Surbhi is joined by Jane Hanson who is a 9-time Emmy award winner for her work in journalism and now is a sought-after coach by executives to help them communicate better.
In the episode, Surbhi and Jane talk about practical ways that you can bring awareness about your body language in daily communications. Different sensorial parts make up for over all body language. Jane discusses how one can consider each of it and then hone the overall body language.
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If you’d like to connect with Jane, below listed are few links to get in touch with Jane directly:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ep. 39 Jane Hanson
[00:00:00] Surbhi Dedhia: Hello and welcome to the making of a Thought Leader podcast. and today on the show I have a very exciting guest.
[00:00:07] Uh, we have Jane Hansen. Jane is a multiple Emmy award, winner TV journalist -turned- coach. Jane has helped many people communicate better, and in the past 30 years, she has grown strength to strength from how she has helped people in communicating better. In her training, Jane focuses on what you say, how you say it, and how your body language keeps it all in sync. So, Jane, welcome to the show. It is absolutely my pleasure to have you today. And, uh, how are you doing today?
[00:00:43] Jane Hanson: I'm doing great. Thank you. Um, it is, it's a pleasure to be here and I admire what you do. It's fun to listen to and, you know, I'm grateful for what you bring to the world through this podcast, so keep at it.
[00:00:55] Surbhi Dedhia: Thank you. So, Jane, last time when we were speaking, in the conversation you mentioned that content is just not everything and the way you deliver, uh, is what makes that ultimate impact? Now that really intrigued me and I want you to share what you shared with me with the audience, so that that would be a great segue to our conversation today.
[00:01:18] Well, I think what people don't recognize is how important how you deliver something is now, for example, uh, if I said if I had the greatest discovery in the world, like if I say this, , I found a cure for cancer. You're gonna go, what? What'd she say? But if I go, I found it. I found the cure for cancer. And then you hear the excitement in my voice, you understand that what I'm saying and delivering is incredibly important.
[00:01:50] So there's a ton of surveys that have been done. Some in the us, some globally, about how important how you say things are and what these surveys showed is that 93% of the way that you are received or that the way that you resonate with people is about how you're delivering it and how you're using your voice, not what you're saying.
[00:02:14] Now, don't get me wrong that what you're saying isn't important, but if you don't deliver it in a way that people can hear it, what is it? Is it like a tree just blowing in the wind or is it, can people un understand and get it? And so, we need to focus also, not just on creating the presentation, creating the speech, creating the answers to a question, creating whatever that is, but we have to think.
[00:02:43] how we are giving it out, how we're putting it out into the world, because that's what's really gonna matter if you want people to hear you. Mm-hmm., it's about, um, so with your body language, it's about your eye contact. It's about the gestures that you use. It's about your posture. It's about your facial expressions, it's also about your voice, and we have an incredible range in our voice.
[00:03:08] We can go really, really fast or we can go really slow. We can be deep or we can be higher. We can be, um, happy and cheerful, or we can be very, very sombre. All of those things give us an indication as an audience of what we're about to hear. You wanna engage people right off the start, that's what's crucial.
[00:03:32] Right. And as you were saying, with the different variety that we all have within ourselves in terms of using the voice, and even the other areas of engaging with gestures and, uh, your eye contact and your facial expressions all. You know, for me, definitely it kind of made sense.
[00:03:53] Uh, but you know, there might be some people who would think that I really don't know how to use all of them. I mean, do I even have it with me?
[00:04:01] So how would you nudge that person, or how does that, what does the first step the person has to take in this situation?
[00:04:08] Jane Hanson: I will tell you that a lot of my clients in my media and presentation training, that's exactly how they feel. Mm-hmm. . And one of the, one of the things that you can do is really simple, prepare your content and then take your smartphone, which you can record anything on, and record yourself and watch it and listen to it, and then see what you think.
[00:04:32] Now we are very self-critical, so you might not be that kind to yourself. , but with a, with an eye to observing how you're reacting to how you're saying something and how you're doing it, then think, was that really interesting? Did I keep people engaged? How could I make it better? And you can just keep trying that over and over and over again.
[00:04:54] And by the way, nobody else ever has to see it. You just hit delete and do it again. And you can do it as, maybe you could make it a weekly routine, a a daily routine, because you're gonna be shocked at the, what you see when you look. I have client after client, after client tell me, oh, I can't stand looking at myself.
[00:05:17] I don't like the way I; I talk, I don't like my voice. I don't like my, I don't like the way I look, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you know, my word to them is, do you wanna make it in your business? Do you wanna have a better response from the way you address and treat people? If you're gonna do that, You, you, you gotta work on this because it will really help you attain something more in your life and in your career.
[00:05:43] If people look forward to hearing you speak and if you really, really relate to them. Right? And this is how you, so it's baby steps. Everything is baby steps, right? But, but a shot, just, you know, try it in a simple meeting and then grow from.
[00:06:04] Surbhi Dedhia: True, true. I think, I think the simple, um, example that you gave about using your phone and just doing DIYing it and seeing, because I absolutely agree.
[00:06:15] We are our best critic. We don't need to be sometimes even that critical, but I think at least for the start, this, this is a great boost to get going. Like putting, putting your feet in the water and just testing.
[00:06:28] Jane Hanson: Exactly. And look, in this world where we're all using Zoom or Google meets or whatever it is, we use as a, as a platform to communicate everywhere in the world.
[00:06:40] Um, one of the things is people are almost their own little producer now because you have to be on this screen in order to get work done. And I think it's given a lot of us pause to say, wait a., did you know that, that, that the selling, the, the sales of Invisalign, those, those braces Yeah. Here in the US has exploded during zoom.
[00:07:04] So many people are during the covid, uh, during the pandemic, so many people have looked at their teeth. have gone. So, um, so I think it's really interesting to, to. To, to, to understand that we're gonna be doing this kind of stuff probably forever on a screen, and we're also gonna be doing it in real life.
[00:07:28] And, and so why not figure out how to improve, how to grow, how to develop? I mean, isn't that a part of life?
[00:07:35] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah. I think that is, that is very encouraging. And as, as well as in the right, direction to, to get on with it. I, I, I really felt like when you said that we are all on Zoom and we are all our own little production houses.
[00:07:49] Uh, that is really true. I think, uh, there are episodes of, uh, people just making sure that the top half of their screen on the top half of what they're wearing is also so camera appropriate. Like people have gone lengths to make sure the top is just perfect for the camera and the bottom stories, we all know
[00:08:07] Right? Exactly. So, yeah. My, my next question to you is business leaders, typically they, they're only concerned about the numbers? What, what is the next sale I'm gonna make? Where is the customer? How much of the product that I'm selling?
[00:08:23] Basically decision makers, they will, you know, be Zoom ready by Zoom ready. I mean, yeah, they will make sure that, you know, they are presentable. But when it comes to, or they may be actually speaking at, uh, conferences because they are quote unquote thought leaders in their industry.
[00:08:41] The speaking engagement is not very engaging. You know what I mean with that. Like they are, say they're talking out there, they are expressing themselves, but it is not creating the action and the response that they would like, uh, from the audience.
[00:08:56] So what are the top three things that you would guide these people to pay attention to really, when its ex especially comes to body language.
[00:09:04] Jane Hanson: So, what you're talking about is how do you keep the audience engaged? Right. And by the way, a lot of those people become clients of mine after they do an appearance where they make a speech or maybe they're on a panel or they're doing something in front of an audience, and sometimes it's even virtual and they see how bad they are.
[00:09:27] And so the top three things are number one. Really focus on how you start, you've gotta open up in a way that makes people wanna listen. Hmm. And by that, I mean. Ask an engage, ask a, ask a rhetorical question, take a poll. Do, uh, move on the stage or in front of the room. Do something that makes people pay attention so that they're going to spend the next 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes, however long you're speaking, wondering what is this person gonna do next?
[00:10:03] Which always keeps you in a good place in a, in a, a good place of wonderment Now, So that's number one. Number two, throughout the course of whatever you're doing of, of this presentation or speech, make sure that you continue to do things that re-engage, be it again. Strategic movement on the stage using some kind of images in the background that you change.
[00:10:28] Perhaps it's the way you use your voice and change things up. Maybe sometimes you'll even move into the audience. It depends upon the scene and the setting. Mm-hmm. But think about things that you can do that will keep the audience engaged. There is one major reason for doing that, which is attention spans are incredibly low.
[00:10:49] Right. Um, they're said to be, Eight seconds. Yeah. Before you start to have something else on your mind. Doesn't mean you've lost them, but it means you're thinking about something like, where am I going for lunch today? Or whatever it might be. Um, so we wanna keep those, we wanna keep people watching, listening, hearing what you're saying.
[00:11:14] This re-engagement thing is, is extremely important. You also need to make your content as succinct as it possibly can be, but at the same time, have tell stories in it. Tell things that will, that people will, will not only resonate with, but that they'll remember. Right? Telling stories according to a lot of studies I've read are 22 times more memorable than giving data.
[00:11:44] Hmm, that is hard to remember. If you are on, on a stage just spitting up numbers, so choose the numbers you use very wisely. If they're really impactful numbers, repeat them, but otherwise be cautious about how many numbers you use.
[00:12:05] Surbhi Dedhia: True. I, I get that. What are the top three things po possibly, that they need to think about when they're using body language or how do they use their body language? Because I, I wonder if people really pay attention to body language.
[00:12:18] Jane Hanson: Body language is so interesting because, I mean, I really study it a lot, but.
[00:12:24] It's innate and for millions of years we've walked on Earth mm-hmm., but only for the last 160,000 years that we had a spoken language, which means we communicated through our bodies completely for all of those years. We, we do it without even getting it. We, we, we take things away from people. You can look at somebody, I mean, a perfect exercise mm-hmm.
[00:12:54] is to sit in a park bench and watch people walking by, and you're gonna make judgements about those people without ever hearing them speak. You're gonna go, oh, that, you know, that guy's lazy, that guy's undisciplined. That person does not look at all interesting. Wow. Look at the way they're watching. I'd like to meet them.
[00:13:11] Hmm. So, we make these judgments before anybody opens their mouth. So, body language is something that we get inside our brains. It's built so deeply into it that we don't even recognize sometimes that we're doing it. So, the most important thing is that our body language is in sync with our words. Now, if I'm telling you some terrible story and I'm smiling, that's disingenuous and people are not gonna believe a word I'm saying.
[00:13:42] What you want to think about is if I'm talking about something. is complicated and detailed, and hopefully I've made it simple in the language I'm using, but also, I'm gonna use my hands in a way that will help illustrate it. And that's why gestures become important. And you're probably gonna say to me, but how does that matter virtually?
[00:14:03] Yeah. Well, if you're using something virtually, I use my hands, and I'm doing it right now cuz we're on this zoom, but right now I've got my hands under. My to, you know, below the screen, but I'm using them all the time to add emphasis. What hands and gestures do is they make our voice actually be more responsive to the words, because our, our gestures really help and there's a ton of different gestures you can think about.
[00:14:31] Obviously you want use ones again that are not offensive to people. That don't turn them off and at the same time add the illustration to the words. Right? So, and in our posture, think about when you wanna sit up, if you slouch, it sends the message that you don't care. Uh, when you're standing, you must have good posture as well, because again, I have an old poster that.
[00:14:59] If you, if you stand upright, you're good. And if you slouch over, you are evil. So, I mean, that's pretty weird, right? Um, then the eye contact, I'm sure everybody who's listening has been in a room when they've been talking to somebody, and that person is constantly looking over your shoulder as if, and the message is that you are not important enough to be talking to.
[00:15:25] I'm looking for somebody. You need to look at people's eyes. You need to give them the courtesy of good eye contact. Eyes are the gateway to the soul, right? And if we are not looking into people's eyes, then we're being dismissive. We're treating them as if what they're saying doesn't matter, or what we're saying is more important than they are, right?
[00:15:49] Uh, and your facial express. I mean, our face has, I can't remember the number now. There's, there's so many muscles in our face that can help us reflect what we're saying. Yeah. You know, smiles obviously are the most important thing, and it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile just for the record. So, it's important that we really think about how are we doing all of that as we go into meeting somebody and spending time with them.
[00:16:17] Surbhi Dedhia: Right, right. You know, in this age of influencers where it's more of a selfie culture and a TikTok video and reels, um, body language is suddenly, you know, even if people have not given it to it, it's due credit, I think still becomes so important because the way you are expressing and getting people to, you know, stick to your reel rather than scrolling up.
[00:16:43] So I think that that's what, when I, when you are saying even in Zoom, you, you are expressing yourself with your hand gestures. I think in virtual, uh, world that we are in today, body language has become even more important.
[00:16:58] Jane Hanson: Yep. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Uh, the, the way that we connect to one another it's through our body language. Think about it. How many times have you been someplace and you'll see someone across the room, your eyes will meet and all of a sudden, you'll say, I, I can connect with that person. And you start to talk to them and you form some kind of a friendship.
[00:17:22] We have to have those connections. We have to have those human connections. That's what we're all about. And I think that's the scary thing for a lot of people who, who have, have lived their life having, having one-on-one human connections. And then in this virtual world, we don't have them as much as we once, as we once did.
[00:17:40] Right. And I feel particularly bad for the, like the millennials or those who just graduated from college in the middle of the pandemic. And they never have had the opportunity. Maybe they are getting it now, but they've never been able to be, you know, in a workplace where you can actually see people place to place and, and understand those connections that become so important, we just can't make them through.
[00:18:05] The telephone or through the zoom, we, we can't make them sudden, the same way. Human connection, face-to-face connection is becoming so important. I've had some CEOs tell me in the past few days that they, they believe face-to-face from making deals and getting and getting very big opportunities done for their companies has got to be face-to-face.
[00:18:30] Mm-hmm. It's just not working otherwise.
[00:18:32] Surbhi Dedhia: Yeah, absolutely. And I'm seeing it here as well that, as much as it is predicted that, um, the virtual events were the way the world is going to turn to post pandemic, I think the in, um, in-person events are doing even better or better. Uh, uh, pandemic.
[00:18:51] So I think that that itself says that people are looking for connections. Businesses are looking at doing in-person, uh, meetings and, uh, connections. Although I must say that with that pandemic, um, you know, uh, culture of virtual is here to stay. I mean, there is like this hybridness, which helps people to do more, if not, uh, better.
[00:19:16] Um, in, in, in events business.
[00:19:19] Jane Hanson: Oh, yeah. I, I, it's, it's, I hybrid Ness mean, look, it's made a huge difference Yeah. In the way that we can get things done and we can get a lot of work done doing it virtually. I, I'm not opposed to the, the virtual work at all. In fact, I, I love it. I wouldn't be able to talk to you if we weren't able to do this.
[00:19:39] And for me it's a way of learning so much and, and, and, and you know, from a cultural standpoint, from a development standpoint for myself, from a, a way of, of understanding the, the values and the concerns and the beliefs of, of all over the world. And that is more of what we need anyway. Yeah. Uh, if I can't travel there, at least I can do this, so.
[00:20:03] Exactly. That's super, super important. , and I never wanna diminish it because I'm a big fan of it. I also don't wanna lose the human connection too when we, when we need it and when we can have it. Right. Right.
[00:20:17] Surbhi Dedhia: It's the, uh, it's the ability to reach and impact many more, uh, with this whole hybrid situation, uh, rather than just few in the in-person situation, right?
[00:20:28] Mm-hmm. So that has definitely opened more doors for every business. Jane, I want to know how can business leaders polish their messages? Now, we spoke about how they can use gestures in body language in so many different ways. How can they think differently when they're presenting to engage the audiences?
[00:20:48] Uh, I know you teach a lot on the content and how the content is presented, but I wanna ask you more towards polishing the messages, like how can they really add that extra oomph, if you will, to how they, deliver the messages using all the different techniques?
[00:21:07] Jane Hanson: Well, I believe in a very simple formula, and the first thing you need to do is.
[00:21:12] figure out what your purpose is for whatever you're doing. If it's, uh, a presentation, a speech, uh, a meeting, um, an interview, a podcast, whatever it is, what is the top message you want people to take away from it? Because we have something called messaging math. And in messaging math in under ordinary circumstances, if you took nine times one, you would have the number nine.
[00:21:36] In messaging math, if you take nine times, one, you have Zero. What does that mean? That means if you've given nine different messages, people are only going to remember none! Nothing. But if you have three messages and you deliver them three times, you are gonna get maybe one that will remember and possibly two.
[00:21:58] So have a key message and make sure you really hone in on that. We have this formula. top line, what is your top line key message? You want somebody to walk out the door thinking. Then you follow that up with three points of proof. So, for me right now, and what I'm doing here with you, I want everybody to understand communicating well is so important to your business, to your personal life, to everything about who and what you are.
[00:22:35] My purpose is to make you understand that you can deliver your messages with ease, with simplicity, and that they will always resonate. Mm-hmm. That's my key message. So how am I doing that? I'm telling you to do three things. One, focus on who your audience is and tailor it up for them. Number two, think about your, create your message.
[00:22:59] Remembering that it's a top line message first, and always keep that in mind. And then number three, deliver it with ease. And in a way, make sure your body is in sync with it. So that's my, that's my formula, right? Top line message. And then three key points that will hone in on it. What I find when I walk into somebody's office, for example, they'll say, uh, I'll.
[00:23:26] What's your top message? What's your mission? What's your purpose? And they'll give me 10 different reasons, and I'll say, Uhuh, Uhuh, you only get one. You only get one for this presentation. So, we have to hone it down and we get to one. Then I say, how do we prove that? And then we go, we go through and, and figure out what his, his or her next lines will be.
[00:23:49] And what we're really doing is making it very succinct and we're making it very easy for the audience to follow along and for him or her to de deliver it. Right. And it makes, it takes all of the, kind of the fluff out of it. Mm-hmm., it takes all of the consternation., what? What do I wanna say? How am I gonna say, oh, I wanna say this.
[00:24:13] No, I wanna say this. No, I wanna say this. No, I wanna say this. It takes all of that away because now you're very focused on your purpose. There's something else that happens when you focus on your purpose, which is, it takes away our nervousness because when, when you actually start to deliver something, because the more you focus on your purpose and why you're there, and remember that you're the expert, you suddenly get rid of all those butterflies in the stomach.
[00:24:39] So it's got a twofold great end result. So, think about how do I always focus on my message and keenly be aware of that, and then do those three things that will support it in what you're talking about. Most people ramble or they'll say too much. They don't know when to stop, and they also don't remember to have a great beginning and a great end. Right. Just the beginning was the hardest part. The hardest part is opening your mouth and starting.
[00:25:15] Surbhi Dedhia: True. Wow. That was so amazing. Um, I think there's a lot of pointers about when you were saying how, how to open your mouth and deliver it, but I think the back of it, like.
[00:25:27] You prepare for it is so crucial, and I think what you nailed down there for us was really, really helpful. I'm sure the audience is definitely going to, um, find this very helpful. Uh, good. Jane, before, before we end this conversation, I want you to share the audience where they can connect with you.
[00:25:45] Jane Hanson: My website is Jane Hansen, h a n s o n.com, and my email is email@example.com. So it's very easy to reach me and I respond to all emails and there's a contact, uh, uh, site on my email, and of course I'm all over. Social media, so you can find me there too. Uh, and I believe we're gonna put those sites up when we with this, right?
[00:26:16] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes. I, I'll put the links.
[00:26:17] And well, thank you so much, Jane. This is really insightful, very actionable pointers that shared with us, and I enjoyed my conversation with you like, always.
[00:26:28] Jane Hanson: And I love talking with you as I always do, and, uh, happy 2023 everybody. Let's make this the most successful year ever.
[00:26:37] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much, Jane, and speak to you soon.
[00:26:42] Jane Hanson: Thank you.