Tuesday March 26th
Wednesday March 27th

EARMA LEADERSHIP EVENT for a maximum of 25 participants

Member fee: 730 euro + vat 22%
Non Member fee: 970 euro + vat 22%

Access: Open to public




Purpose of the event: Being a research leader requires excellent research support to enable the best researchers to flourish and grow. Therefore, both day-to-day challenges and more strategic considerations can stand in the way for reaching that target. With this Leadership in Research Event, we will target some of these issues and through keynote presentations and group work building on sharing of experience and best practice give effective ways to navigate in an environment of contradicting goals and directions.

Main topic: The field of Open Science has evolved from being primarily for specialists such as librarians and bibliometrists, to describing a much broader view on how to do and disseminate science. Open Science will part of the Horizon Europe’s DNA. “Plan S” and open data are just two of a whole set of interlinked processes within Open Science, that our institutions are faced with. To make sense of where we are heading and prepare for it at the universities, research support services has to take all aspects of Open Science into consideration. Hence, this year’s Leadership Event’s will focus on Open Science and Horizon Europe.

Participants: Managers and leaders from research, grants or sponsored programme offices at research organisations like universities, research institutions, research councils and funding agencies. The group will consist of up to 30 people including key leaders from Europe and beyond.

Professional development: Both newcomers and former participants will gain valuable experience either building on top of previous Leadership Events or establishing a foundation for becoming a professional Leader in Research. The program will be aligned with a future certification program in Leadership in Research.

Moderation team: This is a tailor made, one of a kind event developed by experienced EARMA leaders based on the experience of previous EARMA leadership events.

  • Jan Andersen (Technical University of Denmark)
  • John Donovan (Dublin Institute of Technology)
  • Ragnar Lie (Universities Norway)
  • Evelina Brännvall (Luleå University of Technology)

 A survey will be sent out in advance to adjust the program to expectations and topics raised by the participants.

NOTICE: This is a draft programme and subject to change. EARMA reserves the right to change the programme as it sees fit leading up to the event.



Venue: Hotel I PORTICI, Salone Delle Feste, BOLOGNA (Different from main conference centre) https://www.iporticihotel.com/


Tuesday March 26

11:30 Registration open
12:00 Welcome and introduction 
Jan Andersen, Technical University of Denmark
Evelina Brännvall, Luleå University of Technology
12:30 Lunch with the EARMA Board
13:30 Keynote presenters and panel:
– Jennifer A. Ponting, Research Administration and International Compliance Professional, Harvard University
– Stefania Elisabeth Grotti, Head of Research Office, Politecnico di Milano “Developing future-ready research offices”
Chair: Ragnar Lie, Universities Norway
14:30 Presentation of outcome of last year Leadership Event Peter Scott, University College Dublin; Johanna Krappe, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Chair: Dr. John Donovan, Dublin Institute of Technology
15:00 Workshop
  Leaders in Research challenges:
a. Handling a buffet of tasks in the research office; Long term strategy/ahead of the curve, – and coping in the short term
b. How to prioritize?
c. What are the essentials, and getting time to do them
d. Managing up
Facilitators: Jan Andersen, Technical University of Denmark and Evelina Brännvall, Luleå University of Technology
17:00-19:00 Train your presentation performance
Dorte Koch, MA in Adult Education and H.R, Voice Teacher
20:00 Networking dinner at Hotel Portici


Wednesday March 27

09:00 Keynote presentation and discussion:
– Prof. Dr. Ludovic Thilly, Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board “Defining and measuring impact of research: an interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral approach in the age of Open Science”
Chair: Ragnar Lie, Universities Norway
10:00 Workshop
  Topics will be adjusted based on input from participants and discussions on day 1. Examples are:
a. Getting prepared for Horizon Europe
b. How to prepare for Plan S and Open Science
c. Ethics and compliance – now in research
d. Handling research infrastructures
e. Widening participation – is that me?
Facilitator: John Donovan, Technical University of Dublin and Evelina Brännvall, Luleå University of Technology
11:30 Conclusion and evaluation
12:30 Lunch
13:30 End


The EARMA Annual conference will start after the Leadership Event with the General Assembly at 15:30 March 27, 2019 in the conference venue


Download the programme

List of Participants
Dr Caro Antonia | ancaro@deusto.es | SPAIN | University of Deusto
Dr Castellano Marina | ITALY | Ospedale San Raffaele
Dr De Vettori Federico | federico.devettori@polimi.it | ITALY | Politecnico di Milano
Dr Dominici Francesca | francesca.dominici@uniroma2.it | ITALY | Università degli Studi Tor Vergata
Dr Ekers Aigars | aigars.ekers@gmail.com | SAUDI ARABIA | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Miss Krappe Johanna | johanna.krappe@tuas.fi | FINLAND | Turku University of Applied Sciences
Dr Linnane Cathal | cathal.linnane@ul.ie | IRELAND | University of Limerick
Miss Moar Eva Maria | evamaria.moar@eurac.edu | ITALY | European Academy of Bolzano- Eurac Research Miss Morthens Sóley | soley.morthens@gmail.com | ICELAND | MFRI
Dr O’Connell David | d.oconnell@ucc.ie | IRELAND | University College Cork
Miss Pereira Paulo Goret | BRAZIL | Fundação Getulio Vargas
Miss Scheuerpflug Heike | LUXEMBOURG | University of Luxembourg
Mr Scott Peter | peter.scott@ucd.ie | IRELAND | University College Dublin
Miss Sindre Nina | nina.sindre@ntnu.no | NORWAY | NTNU
Dr Vigtil Astrid | NTNU
Dr Werenskiold Anne Katrin | kwerensk@biochem.mpg.de | GERMANY | Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Miss Østensen Vera | vera.ostensen@oslomet.no | NORWAY | OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University

Prof. Dr. Ludovic Thilly
, Chair of the Coimbra Group
Dorte Koch, MA in Adult Education and H.R, Voice Teacher
Jennifer A. Ponting, Research Administration and International Compliance Professional, Harvard University
Stefania Elisabeth Grotti, Head of Research Office, Politecnico di Milano

EARMA Leadership Planning Committee:
Jan Andersen, Technical University of Denmark
John Donovan, Dublin Institute of Technology
Ragnar Lie, Universities Norway
Evelina Brännvall, Luleå University of Technology


Checklist for presentations

When preparing a presentation, think about:
• Why am I telling the story?
• Who are the audience?
• What would I like them to think, feel or do after the talk?
• How will I open the talk/presentation?
• How will I close the presentation?
• Do I have good examples?
• Can I surprise the audience?
• What do I want them to say about me afterwards?

In the situation:
• Be there early to get acquainted with the room
• Establish your grounding
• Establish your physical readiness
• Breathe – deep and wide/ Use the “quick-fix”
• Use eye contact in the opening – meeting your audience
• Speak firm and clear
• Make your voice reach past the back row
• Take your time – read the audience
• Use pauses – pauses are good!


The Pentagon – a short description

The five corners of the Pentagon
The Rhetorical Pentagon is a very useful and easy to remember model for communication. It describes any situation of communication, where every one of its five corners is affected by what goes on in the other four corners. You can use it as a real helpful tool in both preparing, executing and evaluating presentations. We will give you a short description of each corner; as well as of the questions you should ask yourself while preparing your presentation. These are the five simple elements:

The speaker is the one presenting or talking. No matter what your job is, you need to communicate something to someone. The speaker always has a particular role or position in the situation. However, the most important task in this corner is to ask yourself why you are speaking. It is not enough to say that you have to. You must reflect on and investigate your own goal for the presentation, i.e. what do you want to achieve with the presentation? What do you want your audience to know, understand, feel or even do as result of your presentation? Having a strong idea of your purpose will make your presentations much more efficient.

The topic is simply what you are talking about. It can be the new strategy of the organization, it can be a motivational pitch to your team, it can be introducing a new employee – it can basically be anything. In this corner, you ask yourself what you are going to tell your audience. Very often, we tend to fall into the trap of trying to tell everything we know about a topic, but ask yourself: What is your key message(s)? And what do you need to tell your audience in order for them to understand your key point?

The audience is whom you are speaking to. In this corner, you ask yourself: who are they? What is their background, what is their knowledge of your topic? And most important: How is your topic interesting for them, or in other words: What is in it for them?

The context corner deals with where and when the communication takes place. What is the room like? What time of the day? What happens just before and just after your presentation? These factors can affect both audience and speaker. There can also be current events in the organization, in the surroundings or in the world, which can affect the speaker, the audience and the topic. So, in this corner also ask yourself: What else is going on?

Language, style and use of visuals
Finally, we have reached the fifth corner of the pentagon. Here you ask yourself how you will shape and deliver your message specifically in terms of use of visual aids, style of language and use of technical terms. When you use slides, you should only use those that help your audience understand your message. In this corner, you can also ask yourself how you might engage or involve the audience. One of the best ways is to find a good example that supports their understanding of your message.

Using the Pentagon when preparing a presentation
When preparing, we recommend that you begin by posing these questions to yourself:
1) Why? = Really reflect on and find your goal for the presentation. What would you like the audience to think/feel/remember or even do, after your pitch?
2) Who? = Ask yourself about the needs and interests of the audience: Who are they, what do they know about your topic and what is in it for them?
3) What? = What is your key message (s)?
4) Where? When? What else is going on? How might time and place affect you, the audience and/or the topic?
5) How? Finally, you decide how you will “package” your message. Will you use any visual aids, examples, objects, terminology etc.?


Personal communication – voice and body language
Dorte Koch Voice and Communication info@dortekoch.dk

The audible – the voice

Through the voice, we express thoughts, feelings and ideas. When the voice is free, it can reflect the inner world, and in a genuine and credible way communicate commitment, dedication, warmth, respect and a host of other emotions and states. When we hear a human voice, we consciously or subconsciously hear many messages beyond the words that are spoken. We all have a welldeveloped ability to hear how others, especially those we are close to, are doing: “You sound tired,” “He sounds like he is under pressure”, “I can hear that you are feeling better today”, and so on. In other words: When we speak, we send signals to the world about our emotional state; our inner life. When you give a presentation, the audience do not only hear the words you are saying, they also hear the way you are saying them. And the way you are speaking can either reinforce or undermine your message. Think for a moment about the times when you have been wondering whether a person actually meant what they said to you. There was probably just something about the way they said it that made you doubt their message or their intention. Likewise, if you are presenting a new idea or a product, and you speak with a dull or pinched voice, or in a rushed manner, or without really looking at your audience (we will get back to body language later), you might send out a completely different message from the one intended. Your audience might “hear” that the idea or the product is not really interesting, that you don’t find it interesting and so on. So how can we work with this? First of all, you have to observe yourself and the way you communicate. You can ask people you trust to give you feedback. Make an inventory, so to speak, on your communication and presentation habits. Some of the most common vocal challenges are speaking too fast, not taking pauses, speaking too quiet or monotonous. When we, as an audience, hear a small, pinched, murmuring or monotone voice, we are less likely to listen than when hearing a relaxed, balanced voice. When there is a discrepancy between what is being said and how it is being said, we tend to believe the “how”. If you say, “This a really good product with a great future” with a voice that signals uncertainty (i.e. too quiet, too fast or mumbling) it will most likely be the uncertainty that is being communicated, rather than the words. Being trustworthy is amongst other aspects dependent on how you use your voice: if your voice is connected with your body and your thoughts you will give your audience the feeling that you are connected with them and that you are present.

The voice – focus points
The way we use our voice and the way we speak is largely dependent on individual habits. The voice quality of course depends on our individual physical makeup, but the way we use it is to a great extend shaped by our upbringing, education, work experience and other influences. So, we are talking habits, and habits can be worked on and changed. In the following section we will dive a bit deeper into the different elements of the speaking voice. The purpose is to make you more able to analyze and hence, take action on what you specifically need to target if you want to develop, adjust or refine your voice use so that it becomes more efficient.

Clear speech/articulation
You need to speak with clarity. Think about when you yourself have had to listen to a person who is mumbling. The first problem with mumbling is of course that it for the audience is quite hard to decipher the actual words and sentences. Hence, they will need to use too much energy and concentration to follow the presenter, and therefore often begin to let the thoughts drift and gradually they will abandon listening. The result is that the message does not get through. If, however, you articulate with clarity and energy it first of all becomes easier for your audience to listen to and understand you, and secondly in a subtle way it signals respect for and acknowledgement of your audience as well as of the situation. Common vocal challenges as mumbling, speaking too fast or too quiet can be perceived as insecurity and sometimes even as arrogance. The latter because your audience can get the perception that you can’t be bothered to make the effort of putting sufficient energy and commitment into speaking to them. Articulating well depends on precisely and smoothly being able to speak the sounds of the language (vowels and consonants) and join them together into intelligible words. For this purpose, we use the muscles of the tongue, the lips and the jaw. The context in which you speak determines the level of muscularity and energy you should use in your articulation. A serious topic will often require a slightly slower, more careful articulation than the easy or light topic. Likewise, important words, names and concepts as well as your main points. It also demands more articulation-energy to give a presentation in a large space or to a large group, compared to what you do in a regular one-on-one conversation. Having trouble vocally filling a large space, or often being asked to “speak up” will in many cases be solved by articulating with more precision and energy.

Pace and pauses
Dealing with pace is about speaking varied, since parts of what you are saying is more important and worth emphasizing by using a slower pace, and other parts are of less importance. A metaphor for this could be a wall made of bricks and mortar where some words constitutes the “bricks” and a lot of “mortar” words just make things stick together. The “bricks” are to be heard, the “mortar” has to be there in order to bind together but should not be highlighted. A very common problem is speaking too fast. It can stem from trying to speak as fast as you can think, which is not possible. More often speeding stems from not using pauses, or that the pauses being used are too short. When presenting you should definitely consider your use of pauses. The pauses are the moments where you breathe and think, and where the audience can breathe and think and take in your message. The pause is a far too important means of getting your message across to be missed. Appropriate use of pauses also includes using a pause before or after a main point (makes it stick). A pause always highlights what has just been said, or what is about to be said. In other words: There is a commitment in a pause. If you need inspiration, then look at and listen to one of Barack Obama’s speeches and the way he intelligently uses pauses. The rule of thumb is that one should use changes of pace dynamically, i.e. slowing down for the complicated bits and for the main points. Complicated thoughts need more time! You should use pauses as described above. In that way you use the pace and the pauses to signal to the listener when he or she should listen carefully.

Volume and stress
Like articulation is not just about speaking clearly, but should be used with variation, the use of volume of the voice as well as the stressing of certain words should also be used with variation. Along with the other elements volume and stresses helps to highlight what is most important and hence, getting your message across. Both a too quiet and a too loud voice are problematic. The too quiet voice because it (as with mumbling mentioned above) is demanding for the audience to decode what is being said; the too loud because it can be experienced as overwhelming, even as an attack. Overall you need to use appropriate volume for the situation. How close are you standing or sitting to the audience? What is the space like? How many people are you addressing? What is the overall situation? Using enough volume signals that you are present and are taking upon you your role as a presenter by allowing yourself to be heard easily. It is a significant and concrete part of the more abstract concept of “taking your space”. When we speak we give some words more power than others by stressing them. The words we stress are the ones we want the audience to notice. Stressing specific words determine the meaning of a sentence. The more committed we are, the more and stronger stresses we use. You can often hear politicians or other leaders stressing almost every single word they say, that includes words that do not emphasize the point. The problem with too many stresses is that the meaning gets unclear, although the person speaking may feel very dynamic and forceful. On the other hand: speaking with almost no stressing can easily get monotonous and your audience will drift off. Again: it is a question of balance, but when giving a presentation you probably want your audience to feel that you are committed and engaged. Therefore, you should emphasize important words by giving them a bit more energy. They are the sign posts that your listener needs to hold on to in order to follow your train of thoughts.

Inflection and intonation
Inflection and intonation (the “melody” of the speaking voice) deals with how the voice moves between higher and lower tones. The speaker’s emotional commitment is reflected in more or less lively movements between higher and lower tones. A voice with little or no movements between tones is the definition of monotonous (mono-tone) and will be perceived as carrying no engagement or involvement and will therefore not engage or involve the audience. A special area that is worth dealing with is how we end a sentence. There are two common ways: You can use an upward inflection (sounds like a question) or a downward inflection (sounds like a statement). Many people habitually prefer one or the other – disregarding the content and intension of what they are saying. If you mainly use upward inflections you metaphorically put a question mark after each sentence, which can make the audience perceive you as if you are doubting everything you are saying. If you use downward inflections all the time, it will signal that every sentence you are saying is the last one. Besides seeming monotonous to the listener, both habits get in the way of the meaning of what you are saying and undermine your ability to get the message across. Efficient use of intonation and inflection comes when you really know what you are saying, and to whom and why you are saying it, and you then put body and voice behind your intention.


The visible – the body language

Our body speaks, both when we also speak words and when we are quiet. The body is always saying something, and we always read something from other people’s bodily expressions. That is partly the fact that underlies the often-quoted expression: “You cannot not communicate.” Body language very effectively signals emotions, attitudes and moods, and in that way provides the framework for how the spoken language will be understood. A gesture like crossing your arms in front of your body does not mean the same thing every time we face it. Crossing your arms may signify being defensive or feeling a little cold, or, in some cases, even feeling at ease! Interpretation of the body language should always depend on the person, the situation and the context in which it appears. A good rule of thumb is viewing body language in relation to the three Cs: Context (what is the situation and relationship?); Clusters (do you, for instance alongside the crossed arms, see frowning, slumped posture and a clenched jaw?); and Congruency (is there consistency between what is said, and how it is being said?).

The 3 Cs of Body Language:

People you are speaking to will always be affected by your non-verbal behaviour, because we on a subliminal level mirror other people’s body language. A tense presenter will thus make the audience feel tense. A relaxed presenter will reinforce relaxation in the audience. Conflict between body language and the spoken words will undermine your credibility. As mentioned in the section about the voice: When there is a discrepancy between what is being said and how it is being said (both body and voice) we tend to believe the “how”.

Your non-verbal behaviour or body language not only affects other people, but also yourself. The way you use your body language affects your state of mind. Hence, if you establish what we call your professional readiness: assume a strong, energetically, open, grounded posture with firm eye contact and calm breathing, you will not only send out these qualities, you will also yourself feel stronger and more self-assured. When under pressure you can very efficiently help yourself coping by simply establishing the professional readiness.

The body language – focus points
In order to refine your style when giving presentations, you need to develop consciousness of how you use your body language. How do you meet other people? What are your habits? What works well for you and what needs attention? And then find and develop the professional persona and the body language that goes along with it, in which you will feel comfortable and can be authentic. It might sound contradictory; to have to develop something that should be “natural” and authentic. But most of the time we tend to be very unaware of how we use our body language. That is very appropriate in private, relaxed situations. But giving presentations and therefore being a professional communicator, you have to be more aware, so that your body language does not undermine your communication and be aware how you want to be perceived by your audience. How you want to make them feel. Sometimes we have to work quite consistently on eliminating or minimizing habits that are counterproductive for the purpose of good communication, and then develop new habits. The new habits will in time become “natural” as a part of your professional persona. In the following section we will look at the most important elements of body language. As with the voice, the purpose is to enable you to analyze your body language habits, and work on those that need adjustment. And as for the voice, all the elements are interrelated so that when you work on refining one aspect or element it will affect the rest. For instance: if you work on expanding and achieving a more open posture, it will benefit both the voice, the breathing, the grounding and the gestures, besides enabling you to handle pressure and nervousness.

Human beings (and most animals too) tend to expand when we feel powerful, and collapse/ make ourselves smaller when we feel powerless. So, allowing yourself to expand and have an open, balanced posture sends out signals of you comfortably inhabiting your role when giving presentations. Collapsing in the spine and chest signals less power. Locking the arms and hands in front of or behind the body or turning away from the audience signals closing off. So, establish an upright balanced posture, with an open chest, the chest bone slightly raised, relaxed shoulders and unlocked arms and hands which signals openness.

Eye contact
Eye contact is imperative in order for the audience to feel that they are part of the communication. By using eye contact you acknowledge the other persons – and we all want to be seen and recognized. Eye contact is also a power signal. We all know it from our daily life: a person who avoids eye contact gives an impression of either being insecure or hiding something. Using firm eye contact is a part of appearing and feeling comfortable in the situation. Too much eye contact will be perceived as dominating. I.e.: having eye contact with one member of the audience for too long can be experienced as intimidating. Therefore: divide the eye contact between the people in your audience. Many people feel uncomfortable using eye contact when giving a presentation end therefore tend to look away – on the slides, at the floor, at the ceiling or out the window. By looking to much away, you cut your connection with the audience. How and how much should you maintain eye contact? Think of a normal conversation. Here it is important that the one listening is looking at the one speaking. Imagine what happens if the one you are talking to keeps looking away: You will feel that there is a lack of interest and may wonder whether you’re boring or whether your topic is irrelevant. If the person speaking on the other hand insists on all the time maintaining eye contact with the one listening, the listener will feel uncomfortable, intimidated and controlled (this doesn’t apply to very close relationships where constant eye contact is not perceived as threatening). Attending a presentation, the audience (the listeners) do not experience the same obligation to signal attention with their eyes as when being part of a conversation. This means that during presentations it is the responsibility of the speaker to signal interest and attention by offering eye contact to the audience.

Facial expression
A lively facial expression that mirrors or strengthens the verbal message helps your message come across. A deadpan expression is likely to undermine your message. It is a common misconception that a neutral facial expression equals professionalism and a smiling, enthusiastic expression equals superficiality. The neutral, deadpan expression easily seems dismissive and disinterested in the topic and in the audience. It also becomes very difficult for your audience to know what you really mean if you show no expression in the face. It is not a sign of lack of seriousness to use facial expressions and particularly: to smile. A smile that signals good will and interest and that can be seen in the eyes. A smile only being made with the corners of the mouth feels, and will be seen as, phony

To be grounded means standing with both feet firmly on the floor and in balance. A strong, grounded connection between feet and floor strengthens your presence and makes you feel more grounded and able to handle pressure or nervousness. Habitually, many people prefer to stand with the weight more or less on one leg, or shifting the weight between the legs, and hanging a bit in the hips. Then the posture collapses and your presence and energy diminish. Centre your weight on both legs and feet. When you are moving, keep a grounded connection with the floor. You will literally be in balance – and that is also what you radiate.
When you develop your sense of grounding the easiest way is in a standing position. When sitting you can maintain the quality of being grounded because your body will remember the sensation from standing. So, also sit with a good posture, an open chest and the chest bone slightly lifted.

Use of space
Being grounded does not necessarily mean that one cannot move. But you should always move with a purpose. When giving presentations many people channel their surplus energy into the feet and make many small steps, almost like “dancing” around in an uneasy way. You shouldn’t do that – it will distract from your message and it gives a restless impression. Take your time, change between different “stations” in the room. Metaphorically speaking, the train has to arrive at a station and be still, in between moving. Positioning yourself in a room is also worth being aware of. Be aware that you don’t back up against a wall, but rather that you are comfortable with taking up the central spot whenever it is called for. You can so to speak “push” your energy into the room when you are the one in charge, when you want to reach other people. You can also “yield”, i.e. step back or to the side, which signals that you are offering the space to someone else, like if you ask your audience to reflect or discuss something amongst themselves. Use positioning well in accordance with the overall communication situation.

Another important aspect of being a good communicator, and an aspect that we often tend to forget, is to listen. Many times, in a conversation, we are merely waiting for it being our turn to speak again. So, we might hear, but we don’t listen. Being able to really listen and to show that we are listening is a quality worth developing. It makes the other person feel acknowledged. By listening you also have a better chance to gather valuable information that could pass you by, if you are just contemplating your answer or your next remark. We show that we are listening by offering eye contact, by encouraging sounds and words (“aha”, “yes”, “can you way a bit more about that?”) and by the way we position our body in relation to the audience (not halfway turned away). Giving presentations you are “listening” to your audience every time you make a pause, even if they are not speaking – you listen with your eyes whilst looking at them. It is also important that you use your best listening skills during Q&A. Really listen to the whole question before beginning to answer, don’t give into the temptation to formulate your answer in your head while you should still be listening to the question.

General level of energy
It is very difficult to convey engagement in your topic without sufficient physical energy behind the words. Tension in the body can drain it from radiating energy and presence. As individuals we use different levels of energy, and you have to find a way that feels comfortable to you. But energy is contagious, and even she or he who stands completely still and grounded, can radiate physical energy and presence.

“What should I do about my hands and arms?” is a question we often hear. Most people in one degree or another use their hands and arms to emphasize, describe or explain what they are talking about.
Using appropriate gesture helps your message getting across by illustrating, emphasize or explain concepts and processes. As a side effect using gestures can address the challenges of speaking too fast or mumbling. Gesturing makes you slow down, and the physical energy used for the gestures will affect the muscles that are in charge of articulating and make your speech more dynamic and clear. Keep the hands and arms unlocked so they can move freely. How and how much you should use gestures is determined by your topic, your personality and the situation.

In this context ticks are the small habits or unconscious movements like fiddling with a pen, scratching your hair, shifting from one leg to another as if you were rehearsing a dance step and many more. They become a distraction, move away the attention from what you are saying and should be minimized. The quality and the frequency of a movement determine whether it is a gesture or a tick/mannerism. This means that it is not fatal if you occasionally fiddle with a pen, or rearrange your shirt sleeves, but don’t do it too much or too often. Besides being a distraction, the ticks signal unease, restlessness, insecurity, qualities which will transmit to your audience.

This might seem like a minor point to focus on. But we have all experienced either ourselves or someone else being over- or underdressed for the situation. It is a challenge that we don’t need to encounter. Here are some advices: be well groomed, dress appropriately for the occasion and the culture of your workplace. Wear clothes that fit and that you feel comfortable in.


Putting it all together – professionalizing yourself

To professionalize yourself in a very practical way using your voice and your body language means: enlarging what strengthens your presence and impact, minimize the distractions and maintain your individuality. Using the concept of professionalizing implies that at other times you can choose to be completely unaware of your voice and body language. In other words: just because you develop an awareness of how you use voice and body language, you should not necessarily at all times be perfect and conscious. To professionalize yourself is a means to change between roles: from the role of you as a private person to the role of you as a professional communicator with a presence.