Here are 7 practical body language tips you need to know before your next presentation.
- To project confidence
Practice good posture. Roll your shoulders up and backwards, pulling your elbows back so that you will push your chest forward. This position allows you to breathe better and project a confident image of you as a presenter.
- To connect with your audience
Smile. A genuine smile breaks the ice with the audience and shows that you are confident and comfortable in front of the people. Smiling is contagious and others will react favourably. Think about something happy or funny if you really want to smile genuinely. This makes other people want to sit up and listen to you.
- To capture your audience’s attention
Use hand gestures to emphasize what is important and express your feelings. When used appropriately, hand gestures add value to your message by 60 percent! Use the right types and right amount of hand gestures to help develop emphasis and to help improve the credibility that we have as we are delivering our presentation.
- To engage your audience
Maintain sufficient eye contact with your audience throughout the presentation. Spread your gaze around the room as you speak and hold each person’s gaze for about 3 to 4 seconds. Look out for the ‘nod of encouragement’ before moving onto the next person. Eye contact allows you to make a connection and engage your audience.
- To encourage audience participation:
Movement attracts attention. Pace the room as you build up an idea and stop when you are delivering the idea. Increasing your proximity to the audience allows you to make better eye contact with them and increase the likelihood of them participating in interactions. Try asking questions to get your audience involved in conversations too.
- To draw attention to an element in your slide
Click or point at it and look at the relevant data on the screen. The audience will automatically follow your hands and eyes. This will help direct the audience’s attention to the appropriate things on the slides to help them focus on that area.
- To demonstrate authority, avoid filler words
This tip has to do with demonstrating authority and avoiding filler words. That is not to say that great speakers make no pauses while speaking. But the words that you say is important to the credibility of you as a presenter. Nervous energy expended in the form of filler words can undermine the strength of your presentation. Consider replacing words like “um” or “uh” with stronger filler words. Good speakers seldom use these distracting words. Try using “Now”, “You can see that…” or “However” instead.
We hope that this article is helpful. Do you have any tips you would like to add?
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