We had the chance to meet Emma Zangs when starting Elysia. At that time, Emma was working with Marianna on a different venture and we were providing breakfasts for their public speaking workshop. We love what Emma is doing and decided to learn more about her fantastic new venture.
1. Hello Emma, Could you tell us about what you do ?
I coach and help individuals and team better communicate. My background is in choreography and dance, and I use techniques from the Performing arts, Yoga, QiGong to look at how we can communicate verbally and non-verbally the best way possible. So the work focuses on aligning mind and body, being present, active, authentic and find a communication style that suits the speaker and the context.
2. How did you decide to become a coach and a choreographer?
It happened organically. I wanted to work with movement since I was a child. My first dream was to be a gymnast when I was 3 years old. I did Ballet (I still go to my local adult class), hiphop, salsa, jazz but settled with contemporary dance and improvisation at age 12. I loved the freedom and also creating my own movements. I became a coach first because I saw a need for people to be more embodied and sue movement in a more conscious way but also to sustain my choreographic practice as it is one of the most competitive career.
3. Why are you interested in body language? How important is it for you?
Body language is first very ancient. It taps into how we connect with one another first. As human we still check for our safety constantly and we communicate highly through body language. And then, I am not a big fan of words, I read a lot and write articles but I absolutely love being with people, with the least words possible understand them. Dance is that, it is communicating without words and it is a relaxing way of being for me. Talking actually tires me, I am rarely satisfied with the words I use and I much prefer silence.
4. How do you usually work with people and companies?
I tend to work in packages of 3 sessions as it is a good amount of time for the speakers to get to a great place. I also give team session for up to 12 people at a time and they tend to be physical, fun but the team leaves with a plan to improve and help one another. My aim is for people to find the resources within, I help them with tools but then it’s their choice to carry on the practice! I usually start with a 15min call to know if their is synergy between me and the clients, there is no need to waste anyone’s time.
5. Could you tell us about a successful example of people transforming their behaviour thanks to your techniques?
I love this story. I was recommended to an entrepreneur pitching for her next round of funding. She explained to me that she was throwing up before going on stage at pitching events. She had to take calming pills and her heart would race so much, she was feeling as if she would pass out. The way she turned these bad experiences into successful ones, is through her determination. On our first session she said, 'I don’t want to throw up anymore and I’ll try any techniques you have’. After 3 sessions she felt so confident, she turned all her fears into positive thoughts and enjoyed being on stage pitching for the first time. She is now sending me messages every time she speaks in public and she recently won the Pitch At Palace Award 9.0!
6. Any tips and techniques that we could use on events?
Obviously practice makes perfect but the key to feel confident when you are hosting an event is to:
1 – Breathing is Key. Engage your lower belly. Do a few breaths before starting and get ready.
2 – Think about what you are going say first. Sometimes you get rushed into the event and here it is you have to welcome everyone and say something meaningful.
3 to 5 points no more and say something that brings out your passionate self!
2 – Find a comfortable posture, but ground yourself. This will calm your anxiety and if you are calm, they will be be calm and trusting you.
4 – Take your time, no need to rush. If your audience can not process your content, they will be lost and disengage very quickly.
5 – Make it enjoyable for you!
7. Are there academic researches supporting those techniques?
Absolutely. The biggest area studying body language is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Behavioural Psychology is another strand for studies and then I recommend books such as
1. Amy Cuddy – ‘Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges’ 2. Gina Barnett, ’Play the Part: Master Body Signals to Connect and Communicate for Business Success’ 3. Caroline Goyder – ‘Gravitas: Communicate with confidence, influence and Authority’. 4. Carol Kinsey Goman – ‘The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help or Hurt How You Lead.’
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