One of the most loved brands in the U.S. is actually a generic. It's DOG. The very term evokes and fuses so many powerful positive emotions. A college friend who's leaving for a week's trip brought her DOG Abby to the sitter. That blasted an inner hole in her that she shared with us on Facebook.
DOG communications strategies can be easily adopted by public speakers. Here are those best practices:
Give all the attention to the audience. Look at them, position your body language, and align your facial gestures as closely as does a DOG. It's no coincidence that DOGS and their pet parents wind up resembling each other.
Be totally in the moment. DOGS, they say, exist only in the now. Sure, there may be associations embedded in their wiring, such as the time they were frightened by thunder and therefore will always bolt under the bed when there's that sound. But essentially they are present in what's happening right then. That's how they can pick up on all the emotion in the family. Likewise a DOG-like public speaker meshes with the audience to be one with every mood shift. The audience gazes over when you talk Affordable Health Care. Veer away from that and slide into another topic. That's why it's smart to talk from a point outline versus a set script.
Exude caring. Confidence and caring are not mutually exclusive. Bill Clinton, who retains his influence, embodies both. He also remains one of the world's greatest public speakers. We want evidence that you really do care. Sometimes that is labeled "authenticity." My late DOG Nicole strutted around the palace like she owned it, yet she always was checking how we all were.
Use touch. That might be called "paw communication." Before and after the speech make physical contact. If you ever worked with disturbed children (and many DOGS are used in therapy for that) you know how quickly they settle down when you touch them lightly.
Show enthusiasm about common things. DOGS will never be those aloof VOGUE models. It's refreshing to have someone who responds strongly to simple stuff like a hot dog, decent people, and cute kids.
If you leverage these strategies and your performance has not improved, go the shelter and bring home a DOG. He or she will get you up to speed fast. Nicole taught me all I know about presentation of self.