In Part 5 of this series of presentation skills tips designed to help you to become a highly talented presenter, in Tip 6, we said “Make it visual.”
That article focused largely on the use of visual aids such as PowerPoint, Keynote, etc., which can add enormous value and impact to your presentation.
We have, however, saved the most powerful visual aid for this article: You!
Tip 7: Let Your Body Speak
Your body has a language all its own and can be one of a presenter’s greatest assets and most effective visual aids.
Movement stimulates visual presence and energy for both the presenter and their audience, so meaningful gestures can go a long way to helping you to connect with your audience.
That may sound as simple as it is obvious, but make a point of seeing for yourself just how many professionals make the effort to smile when giving a business presentation.
I’m confident that you won’t find too many.
Every audience wants to feel as though the speaker is comfortable with what they have to say and that they look happy to be there. The best way to give your audience that assurance is to smile, as it helps our audiences to relax as well as ourselves.
What else says that as a speaker you are friendly, warm, kind, and supportive more than a genuine smile?
Take Them There
If you are talking about something in the past, then take a step backwards into the past. If you’re referring to the future, then step boldly forward into the future.
Make It Big or Small
Remember to use your hands to illustrate if you are talking about something’s size, height, or position.
Take the Handcuffs Off
In our presentation training workshops, one of the most common questions our coaches are asked is “What should I do with my hands?”
Some people keep them behind their backs, in their pockets, or clasped in front of them. Your hands just want to be free to express themselves in whichever way they choose. They know exactly what to do. Start off with them in front of you by your waist and just let them do “their thing.”
Remind Your Face
Have you ever attended a presentation where the speaker tells you how “passionate” they are about the topic but their face tells you a completely different story?
If you are happy, excited, disturbed, concerned, or even angry, don’t forget to tell your face.
Standing tall with your spine straight and shoulders back but relaxed indicates to your audience that you are in control and are confident about what you are saying.
Watch Your Speed
Generally speaking, slow deliberate gestures are often associated with gravitas, whereas faster gestures indicate excitement and enthusiasm.
Stand with your legs crossed
Pace up and down
Lean on something or even one leg
Point with your fingers (use open palms)
Sway from side to side
Did you miss Part 5? Click here. To start at the beginning with Part 1, click here. To go to Part 2, click here. To go to Part 3, click here. To go to Part 4, click here.
Maurice De Castro is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s best loved brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organisation lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at www.mindfulpresenter.com