A young, barrel-chested Indian man strides into a buzzing classroom. His undersized amber suede vest and gold pocket-watch offer a glimpse into his eccentricity.
His name is Chetan Agarwal, a former news anchor, Mr. India runner-up, and a guest-speaker at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology.
Agarwal raises his hand, gesturing the class to quiet down, then launches into his lesson plan. The topic is an overview of body language dynamics, something critical for students who plan to be successful in any professional setting.
“First impressions are lasting impressions,” he says, as he begins to break down a few fundamental body language cues.
- Underhand (palm up): submission or a need to procure something from one’s counterpart.
- Overhand (palm down): implies a need to be dominant.
- Neutral palm: impartial, no desire to impose submission or dominance.
- Business: Look at middle of forehead and at pupils.
- Social: Toggle between eyes and tip of nose.
- Intimate: Gaze anywhere below nose.
- Fire voice: for speeches and large audiences.
- Earth voice: quieter tone, used to stress something important.
- Water voice: passion, politeness.
- Air voice: used to convey inspiration, motivation.
- Steel voice: “fire” and “earth” voice combined.
- “Divide the room” by addressing the room as a series of cross-sections, the speaker creates the illusion of engaging individually with the audience.
- Don’t make eye contact. Trying to look at audience members’ eyes more often keeps a speaker from engaging with the entire room.
- “Stage Fright Management” – Agrawal reinforces that nobody ever gets over stage fright, they simply learn to manage it better.
While the lesson might seem simple, the presentation aided in raising the legitimacy of Agarwal’s advice. His demeanor conveys complete confidence, an asset in any setting that benefits students and professionals alike. These students, armed with a top tier education, are primed for the spotlight, much like the Salt Lake Community College students also in attendance.