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3 Acting Tips for More Persuasive Business Presentations

Movie and theater actors can instantly influence and move viewers however they want. They excel at transfixing audiences, making people value their presence enough to attentively watch their words and actions.

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According to speech coach Gary Genard, speakers can also use these crucial acting skills to inject persuasion into their presentations.

Here’s our own spin on how acting techniques can leave a great impact on the crowd:

Own the Stage

Deliver your business pitch the way actors give their all, resulting in shining moments. Solid commitment to your presentation leaves your audience with something important to remember.

Owning the stage means taking full responsibility for whatever happens during your discussion.

Besides sharing relevant stories and citing related quotations or important facts, your listeners are more likely to believe you if they recognize your credibility on the topic and your composure in handling difficult situations, unexpected or not.

Use Your Emotions

Actors have the eloquent skill of playing with their own emotions. They can laugh at one point and cry at another.

In presentations, you also need to express your genuine feelings to best connect with your listeners. At the same time, choose the appropriate tone for every occasion.

If your business speech tackles a major breakthrough in the industry, you have to sound involved, proud, and enthusiastic. If you’re trying to emphasize a hurdle that needs an immediate remedy, speak in a serious tone that will call the audience to action.

Control Vocal Power

Controlling your vocal power is an effective way to emphasize a point.

This is another acting skill that stage artists use to make scenes realistic and convincing.

Your business pitch doesn’t sell solely because of its content. Your presentation delivery also plays a big part in your success. How you convey your main idea and key points through your

How you convey your main idea and key points through your voice and choice of words creates a rhythm that carries the meaning to your audience.

Consider acting as a core skill to deliver dynamic and persuasive business presentations. Show your audience that you’re an expert on the topic to make them believe everything you have to say.

Express the appropriate emotions according to your statement’s aim and content. Control your voice to match the kind of drama you want to inject into your pitch.

Incorporate these  tips to engage and entertain your audience the way actors do, and you’ll turn your audience into loyal fans, effectively converting your leads into more sales.

Got a presentation requirement you need to work on? SlideGenius will be pleased to help you. Email us at sales@slidegenius.com and we’ll contact you ASAP.

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References

An Actor’s Secrets for Great Business Presentations.” The Genard Method. Accessed June 9, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Credibility.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed June 9, 2015.
Your Voice Is The Most Valuable Presentation Tool.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 27, 2015. Accessed June 9, 2015.

Dress the Part: 5 Fashion Tips for Business Presentations

You only get one shot to make a first impression.

When all eyes are on you, you want to look presentable and professional in your audience’s eyes. Choosing the right attire engages your audience because it makes a statement about you and your purpose.

Here are important things you should consider when dressing up for that important event.

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Match the Situation

This is not the time for pulling off your personal fashion statement.

When deciding on an outfit for your business presentations, note its level of formality to decide where you should be on the casual-to-formal scale.

Keep any local customs in mind. You don’t want to be overdressed, but you also don’t want to offend by being underdressed.

Consider Your Audience’s Wardrobe

According to serial entrepreneur, Adam Toren, a little research always comes in handy in gauging how to dress in front of your audience. Always dress slightly better than the people you’re addressing.

If you’re delivering a presentation to executives, you can do no less than wear your best suit or finest dress. When speaking to a group in a casual setting, smart casual will do.

Just don’t overdo it or you’ll seem inept or out of touch with your audience.

Prioritize Comfort

Looking good is only the beginning. Conveying your message through body language is an important aspect of public speaking.

It’s hard to perform hand gestures or even stand when you’re wearing something uncomfortable.

How you dress affects how you’re perceived by your audience. To be an effective communicator, never compromise style over comfort so you can express yourself freely.

Avoid Bright Colors or Distracting Prints

The ball is always in the presenter’s court to keep the audience engaged. Your professional dress doesn’t have to be boring, but it also shouldn’t be distracting.

Don’t wear clothes with bright colors or distracting prints or logos.

Solid pastel colors are a safer bet over intricate patterns, especially when you’ll be recorded on video. Black and white is guaranteed to make you look professional without distracting your audience.

When worn well, simple clothes can make a better impact than flashy clothes.

Focus on the Fine Details

Closely inspect your clothes for even the smallest things like a missing button or a loose thread.

When presenting, a smaller group of people may notice it more quickly. A more intimate setting leaves you more open to close scrutiny.

Do one final check before leaving your room. Sometimes, you won’t notice a flaw until everyone else has.

Conclusion

First impressions last. The way you dress up takes up half of your presentation.

Take time to prepare your business attire and realize the unspoken language it delivers. Adapt to a mode of dressing that accentuates your style while recognizing its possibilities and limitations.

 

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References

Engage a Disinterested Audience Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 5, 2015. Accessed May 27, 2015.
Toren, Adam. “Professional Dress Doesn’t Have to Mean Boring.” Entrepreneur. March 06, 2014. Accessed May 27, 2015.

Staying Relevant: The Questions You Need to Ask before a Presentation

Why should I care? Everyone asks this question before making a decision.

Why should I get myself a new phone?”
Why should I care about this new car fuel?”
Why should I buy a $3 custom hand-crafted coffee instead of an instant mix?”

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According to author Jim Aitchison, these questions are all based on standards that people have built over the course of their lives.

If something they see meets these standards, it becomes relevant to them. This also applies to clients during business presentations: They need to know why they should care about your topic.

As presenters, it falls on you to make your pitch relevant. Relevance allows you to establish why the topic must matter to the people hearing it. If your topic offers no clear benefits or implications, you won’t establish a strong connection with your audience. Without that connection, it becomes harder for the audience to spend time listening to your pitch and buy your idea. Get an idea of your client’s standards to find out how you can

Get an idea of your client’s standards to find out how you can relate to them.

People Want Benefits

Your audience spends time and money to hear you out. Give them something interesting in return. Brand communication expert Carmine Gallo suggests explaining what your pitch means for them will immediately make your topic and presentation more relevant.

They Need To Connect the Dots

Now that you’ve presented what your topic is, tell the audience what they get out of it. Give a concise and exact description of what your idea does (Sullivan, 2008). Visual demonstrations can do more for you than verbal explanations can.

Will your new computer parts allow people to work faster? Will your new earning figures translate to tangible and enjoyable gains for the company? Answering these questions can tell interested parties why they should approve your proposal. Everything relies on your ability to connect the dots and establish how your topics affect the people you present it to.

They Want to Have Fun

When Steve Jobs presented the iPod Nano in 2005, he asked the audience what that smaller right-hand pocket inside your pants was for. Once that left the audience guessing, he pulled the device out of that pocket.

Jobs brought up a seemingly overlooked part of everyday fashion by making it useful and relevant. He presented a simple fun fact about his company’s new device instead of merely describing it verbally for a more memorable performance.

Your clients are ultimately the ones that will either approve or reject your pitch. Getting that approval and investment is the bread and butter of any salesperson.

Presenters must make an effort to make their topics relevant whenever possible. Find out which standards your clients use when making their decisions. Then, fine tune your business presentation’s content.

Convince your clients that their hard-earned money will be well invested and have tangible benefits for everyone involved.

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References

Adding Visuals to Your Technology PowerPoint.” SlideGenius, Inc. Accessed May 25, 2015.
Aitchison, J. (2004). Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print For Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore: Prentice Hall.
Gallo, C. (2010). The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. McGraw-Hill.
The Question to Answer for Effective Business Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 25, 2015. Accessed May 25, 2015.

How to Maximize Eye Contact for Presentations

A study from the University of Pennsylvania revealed that 70% of non-verbal communication is based on body language.

Among other forms of body language, eye contact plays a significant role in building a deeper connection with acquaintances, friends, and strangers. This proves that eye contact is an important part of interacting with other people.

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Eye Contact in Non-Verbal Communication

We often forget how much our eyes contribute to our daily interactions. In most cases, we’re unaware of how our gaze can make communication more powerful and effective.

The eyes are the most expressive parts of the human body. We can determine someone’s inner thoughts or feelings by just looking at their eyes.

Conveying positive emotions and confidence is essential for any effective presenter. This works the same way for your audience. Eckhard Hess, an American psychologist and ethnologist, discovered that the our pupils dilate when we are interested in a conversation. If the pupils contract, it shows disinterest. These, in a way, gauge how effectively you can establish rapport and persuade the audience.

Here are further reasons why eye contact is necessary:

It catches attention

People lose interest if they sense a lack of passion from the presenter. Once you’ve successfully established eye contact, show them that you’re confident to stand and talk in front of them. They’ll become more attentive and interested in your pitch.

It engages the audience

Speech coach Patricia Fripp writes about the positive effects of eye contact. According to Fripp, not only is it effective in convincing people, it also boosts self-esteem, another crucial factor in delivering a winning pitch.

If you conduct business presentations, establishing stable eye contact makes the audience feel that you’re interested in them, allowing you to build trust and rapport. Make them feel that they are involved in their presentation.

It makes a good impression

Great presenters avoid looking at their notes while speaking, letting their audience read and understand the message by making eye contact.

Your audience’s first impression of your performance can either increase or decrease your credibility. Doing well makes them understand that you are knowledgeable and confident.

How long should you maintain eye contact?

Leadership trainer Dan Rockwell advises presenters to keep eye contact for at least three to four seconds per person in each group.

If you’re discussing something that’s related to your subject, know when to pause so they can catch up to the ideas you’re highlighting.

It takes practice to master eye contact.

Learn and practice this technique to achieve your audience’s expectations.

Since the eyes convey your emotions, you need to give off a friendly yet confident impression for your audience during presentations.

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References

“Build Emotional Connection Through Good Eye Contact.” Patricia Fripp. 2009. Accessed May 21, 2015.
Hess, Eckhard H. “The Role of Pupil Size in Communication.” Sci Am Scientific American 233, no. 5 (1975): 110-19.
Power Your Presentations with These Body Language Tips.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed May 21, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Credibility.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 04, 2014. Accessed May 21, 2015.
Rockwell, Dan. “Secrets to Great Presentations.” Leadership Freak. June 18, 2014. Accessed June 21, 2015.

Bringing Passion into Your Professional Presentation

Emotions play a vital role in communication. In terms of presentations, you get your audience’s attention by appealing to their feelings.

But what do most presenters forget?

Passion.

If you want your listeners to be passionate about your professional presentation, you have to be passionate about it, too. They’ll know how interested you really are based on how you deliver your message.

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Passion: The Heart of Successful Presentations

Start your presentation with in-depth preparation. Whether you’re tasked to do business presentations or to facilitate management meetings, prepare to impart your message in the most efficient way.

You’ve researched about your topic, prepared your PowerPoint presentation, and incorporated powerful and striking visual designs. How can you achieve everything without being passionate about it?

Whatever subject you’re discussing, being passionate about what you do improves your performance.

How Passion Helps

Passion precedes perfection. You want to make your professional presentation effective, engaging, and persuasive. But how does passion help you?

As mentioned above, you can’t be successful if you don’t enjoy what you do. You may convince your audience in some areas, but they might not remember your message. This is why emotions are important, especially when you’re presenting to a large group of individuals.

Emotional Appeal Creates Involvement

Aristotle once said, “People do not merely listen to the speech; they listen to the person.”

An interesting subject falls flat if it can’t engage others. Remember that your listeners are always a significant part of any public speaking event.

Make your listeners feel involved. Find areas where you can inject ideas that’ll move them.

A Sense of Involvement Boosts Attention

Once you’ve made your audience feel involved, they’ll become more attentive. Since you’re aiming to build a shared emotional belief with them, share your own experiences to sound authentic and interesting. Doing so won’t only convince, but also build their trust and connection with you.

People Want Real Connections

People are more interested in real life stories. Storytelling is effective because people will always associate your stories with your ideas, and ultimately, your brand.

For example, keynote speaker, Les Brown uses his passion for encouraging others to live their dreams and have a larger vision for their lives. He effectively convinces his audience by translating his own dedication to his craft into a winning deck.

Genuine feelings make people more inclined to believe in you.

You can measure the success of your presentation by how easily your audience recalls your message. You build relationships once you’ve created shared experiences with them.

It takes practice to accomplish an effective presentation. But when you become passionate about public speaking, you move forward to becoming a successful presenter.

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References

Craft Your Corporate Presentations into a Great Story.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 15, 2015. Accessed May 20, 2015.
Les BrownAccessed May 20, 2015.

Using Inclusive Words to Connect During Sales Presentation

Apart from creating an effective PowerPoint sales presentation, a powerful way to connect with your audience is to use inclusive words. More than content, visuals, and performance, your listeners want you to show that you care about them.

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According to keynote speaker Kristin Arnold’s book, Boring to Bravo, inclusive pronouns such as “we,” “our,” and “us” create a lasting connection with your audience, making them feel included in your speech. Instead of using “you” and “your,” incorporate inclusive words to indicate that they’re part of your presentation.

Turning “You” into “We”

Help your audience understand that your goal is to connect with them. As public speaking consultant Steven D. Cohen suggests, “You must solve this problem” differs from “We must solve this problem.”

The former indicates that your audience is solely accountable while the latter signifies that both you and your audience are responsible, making them realize that you can work things out together.

It’s All About Them

It’s normal to worry about how you look while performing or how your pitch will compel audiences to purchase your product.

The entire speaking engagement isn’t about you. It’s all about them. They must know if you’re addressing their needs rather than your own. Make them see that you’re not selling at all.

Understanding Their Beliefs and Interests

Before writing your speech, learn your audience’s background and culture. This is why audience analysis is important. Your pitch’s content should be relatable to each group of individuals.

Make your pitch sound more conversational and add a personal touch to capture their attention faster. Telling your own stories helps them relate to what you’re saying, making them more interested in your speech.

Listen and Adjust

To show that you care about your audience’s needs, observe their behavior while delivering your speech.

Since you’re in control of the entire presentation, focus on your audience rather than yourself. If you take

If you take time to listen, you can adjust your technique while speaking, depending on your audience’s reactions. This prevents you from losing their interest and ending your performance ineffectively.

Inclusive words make your presentation more powerful and engaging, connecting you with your audience in a way that keeps them interested and convinces them that you value them more than anyone else.

If you want to learn more about making appealing presentations, SlideGenius can help you out to address this concern.

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References:

4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2013. Accessed May 18, 2015.
Arnold, Kristin J. Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Your Audience to Action. Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2010.
Cohen, Steven D. “It’s All About the Audience.” University of Balitmore. Accessed May 18, 2015.

Dig into Your Presentation Audience’s Key Learning Styles

Audience members have different learning preferences. As a presenter, make sure you can meet their varying needs to maximize engagement and comprehension.

There are many ways to categorize personal learning styles including the Jungian theory on personality types. Fleming’s VARK model is the simplest yet most comprehensive approach that best suits understanding varying modal preferences.

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VARKing Up the Right Tree

Neil Fleming, a research enthusiast and teaching expert in secondary and teacher education at the Lincoln University, New Zealand, devised this model to tailor to individual’s learning needs. Before creating a pitch, you have to make sure you’re barking up the right tree.

Visual learners are the most recognizable group. They prefer to learn by visualizing information in the context of images, graphs, and videos rather than written forms. Use your learner’s strengths by incorporating more imagery like visual words, illustrations, diagrams, motion pictures and other materials in your deck.

Aural learners learn best by hearing information instead of visualization. They prefer listening to recordings, podcasts, and even your public speaking voice. Tap into this learning style by making sure you have a loud, clear voice that everyone can hear.

Reading and writing learners understand by looking through the information. They’re more likely to focus on text than images. Make your presentation visually accessible to them by balancing your slide’s content with the right amount of text-based information or make use of printed handouts.

Kinesthetic learners have a hard time focusing during lectures because they express themselves better by physically moving.

Spice up your presentation.Create a dynamic and lively presentation flow to keep their attention. Engage your listeners with motion activities or demonstrations to reinforce audience participation.

How is VARK beneficial?

This learning preference model makes you mindful of your audience’s behaviors and attitudes as you discuss.

You can’t please everybody, but you can make a well-balanced presentation technique to grasp your audience’s interest. Your presentation’s success relies on being flexible to handle all audience types.

Feed your learners with a fusion of visual information, public speaking, and applied activities.

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References:

Biography.” VARK-Learn. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Creatively Explain Statistical Concepts in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 29, 2015. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Cherry, Kendra. “Are You a Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, or Tactile Learner?About.com Psychology. April 10, 2015. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Cherry, Kendra. “Learning Styles Based on Jung’s Theory of Personality.” About.com Psychology. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2015.

4 Crucial Skills for a Better Investment Presentation Q&A

Convincing clients to accept your proposal is a feat in itself because while you can establish its relevance and support it with facts, they’ll always have questions after you deliver your investment presentation:

How much will implementing your proposal cost? How long will it take? Who will be involved?

Don’t worry about the Q&A of your investment pitch. Idea presentation is also a form of marketing and advertising.

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Audience persuasion is this practice’s lifeblood. Knowing how to address these concerns is the final hurdle that every presenter must pass.

As this article addresses the final parts of your presentation process, allocate the information you need in your PowerPoint’s the index section.

Getting Started

Addressing the clients’ concerns show them that your proposal is superior to the competition.

Ensure that the idea was well-formulated to account for perceived inconsistencies.

Northwestern University’s marketing expert Philip Kotler (1972) shares four planning skills to reinforce ideas during the final stages of your investment presentation:

Planning the Product

Your product is your proposal. It’s the thing you want to pitch to your audience.

Do you want to introduce a new gadget in an expo? Are you pitching a stock investment plan? Are you presenting a recommendation from your earnings’ reports?

Define your product in such a way that clients know exactly what you’re offering them. This should be reflected in the way you package and present it.

Determining the Price

Cost is a big factor in whether your client will approve your proposal or not.

Audiences need to see how their budget (if they give you one) will be allocated, and how much they’ll profit. While they do have the spending power, they prefer cost-effective solutions that give the best value.

Getting past this particular point requires you to accurately identify what it would take for your clients to invest time and money in your idea.

Listing down your costs or presenting graphs to outline how you’ll spend their money presents a clear picture of how the expenses will play out.

Planning the Distribution

Once you’ve established the product and costs, how do you plan on making your product available?

After impressing your audience with your offering’s features and benefits, tell them where and how they can get it.

Will it be available in major tech shops? Can people only get it at the Apple Retail Store? Will it be exclusively available online?

Planning for this often ties in with the concerns of costs.

Promoting Interest

Keep your idea’s benefits in mind. Keep your audience interested by specifying exactly what they can get out of your proposal. Focus on powerful suggestions such as:

“This insurance plan will provide coverage against a wide variety of accidents, all for a fraction of the competition’s costs”
“This new processor will allow your phones to use more apps at the same time, increasing your productivity”.

Clients and their businesses are not only responsible for maximizing their profits, but also for maintaining a strong and lasting customer interest. The more well-defined your idea is, the more convinced clients will be.

Accurately defending a pitch is a crucial investment presentation skill.

When the client’s approval is on the line, your audience will appreciate a speaker who not only focuses on the style of presenting but also stands by his or her topic well enough to convince others to invest in it.

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References:

Kotler, P. (1972). A Generic Concept of Marketing. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 36, No. 2.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed May 5, 2015.
The Question to Answer for Effective Business Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 25, 2015.

Spending the First 3 Minutes of Business Presentations

Your overall presentation depends on your introduction.

Before you proceed to your actual content, keep in mind that the first three minutes are crucial: your introduction can either connect or distance you from your audience.

The message you want to convey can be affected if your opening can’t catch their attention.

Develop a Sense of Belonging

Create a sense of belonging among your audience.

Don’t alienate them with jargon-filled rambling or stiff delivery. Encourage them to warm up to you by creating a relatable image. Tell a story to ease any lingering tension, or start with a quote or anecdote that’s directly related to your pitch.

Let these be the takeaways to your main points. Intimidating the audience with an austere environment will only push them farther away from you.

Develop a catchy and memorable introduction to get their attention before you discuss the content.

Establish Eye Contact

Looking directly at your audience gives them the impression that you’re interested.

Separating yourself from other people through not only your speech, but also your body language, is not only suspicious but also makes you look like an unreliable source. Commanding attention means connecting with your listeners not only through speech but in your physical presence as well.

Glancing at them one by one is not necessary, but least building and maintaining eye contact is important. This builds rapport.

Answer the Audience’s Hidden Questions

Why am I here?

Maximize the first three minutes of your business presentations by including the benefits that your listeners can get from your subject.

Briefly mention the most important points to give them an overview of your core message. Your purpose is to give them reasons to listen and take actions, not just to sit for nothing.

Some members might not notice that they have these questions in their head, but the best way to address this is to practice all the above reminders. If you answer their questions positively, you’ll achieve their expectations.

Tell a Story

Nothing beats the power of storytelling.

Aside from the actual content, you can structure your content with a definite hook, line, and sinker. Since we’re still discussing the introduction, use it to build up the meat of your discussion. Pique your audience’s interests with something that they can relate to and leave them wanting more.

Personal stories will help ground you in people’s eyes, and make them more inclined to listen to you. Don’t be afraid to let your human side show in front of them in the form of these stories. People are more inclined to listen to someone who understands them, so make them feel that in your opener.

Applying these tips will help you get over your anxiety of not making a good impression.

Your goal is to entice your audience with a powerful and striking introduction. If you fail to do this, you’ll have a harder time making them listen to the rest of your presentation. Make those first three minutes count.

References:

How to Take Tough Questions Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 16, 2015.
Fine-tuning Your Presentation’s Core Message.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 11, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2015.
The First 3 Minutes – How to Quickly Connect with Your Live Audience.” Appirio. April 29, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2015.

Engage a Disinterested Audience Like a Presentation Expert

Sometimes, a well-designed presentation isn’t enough to engage a disinterested crowd.

Your speech’s success still depends on how well you command interest. By exuding confidence and credibility, how you look and carry yourself will leverage your power to convince.

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Looking your best is your top priority, but you also have to avoid distracting or making your listeners tune out. Here are five simple ways you can keep their attention like a presentation expert:

Dress for the Part

Even before you utter a word, your listeners judge you based on what you wear. The right clothes highlight your competence and integrity, while inappropriate fashion choices might divert the attention from your speech or discard your credibility.

Don’t wear distracting clothes with bright neon colors and conspicuous patterns. Stick to neutral and pastel colors, and lean towards shirts with solid colors.

Make sure brand logos are unobtrusive, as they draw unnecessary attention.

Always gauge the level of formality required of an event and dress appropriately. Wearing a tuxedo to a simple sales pitch is unnecessary, while wearing a bikini to a conference is highly inappropriate.

Revealing outfits are perceived by most cultures as a sign of promiscuity, thus reducing your perceived credibility. Too many layers of clothing, on the other hand, put more distance between you and your audience, making you seem guarded and stiff

Win with Your Body Language

Successful presenters use their body language to look more credible. They also use it to enhance and complement their message. Conversely, inappropriate or unnecessary movements will make you appear nervous, unprepared, or unqualified in your field.

A powerful stance demands attention and ensures that people stay tuned in to your pitch. Make sure to stand straight but relaxed, to communicate confidence and authority, as slouching or hunching over suggests lethargy and weakness.

Appropriate hand gestures and motions also highlight important ideas. Use only deliberate movements and gestures that complement and enforce your speech’s purpose.

Exaggerated or uncontrolled gestures risk eliciting laughter instead of retaining attention.

Avoid motions and hand gestures that divert attention without meaningfully contributing to your message. For instance, don’t make a closed fist or point at your listeners. These actions are interpreted as signs of aggression, and may unintentionally break the flow or even offend.

Simplify, But Don’t Over-Explain

People don’t like being bombarded with words that don’t directly contribute to the message.

You want to have a smooth flow that aptly tackles your major points. Don’t break the flow by lingering on ideas that might easily be understood without further clarification.

Gauge how technical your approach needs to be by knowing the crowd beforehand. Simplify your content while still supporting your thesis, but don’t expand on every bit of information on your slides.

An informed assembly won’t want to be spoon-fed information. Over-explaining concepts or ideas they already know will only bore and tune them out.

Ensure that your message is engaging and easy to grasp in order to inform, entertain, or persuade them.

Presenting on energy efficiency to a crowd of environmental scientists probably won’t need explanation of specific jargon to their field. However, if you’re presenting the same topic to politicians and policy-makers who aren’t as familiar with the subject, you’ll need to simplify and explain those terms.

A streamlined presentation engages listeners effectively, while a protracted arrangement will bore and tune them out.

Speak Up, But Don’t Shout

An audible voice and clear enunciation make or break your delivery, but being audible doesn’t necessarily mean being loud.

What’s important is your vocal projection. What you say should be clearly heard without strain on the part of your listeners.

Also, consider the size of both the gathering and the venue, and know if your voice will be electronically magnified (via a microphone) or not.

Practice speaking in front of three different groups: one of fifty, one of eight, and a single person. This helps you adjust your voice’s loudness for different circumstances.

All speakers want to be properly heard, but none would wish to be seen as unpleasant or boorish.

Don’t Step into the Light

Just because deck and presenter work together doesn’t mean that they should physically meet.

There’s no greater sin than stepping into the projected image.

A moving shadow on your screen is a great distraction that ruins your design’s fluidity. Having visual elements projected on your person is highly unflattering, and might have unintentional comic results.

Use a laser pointer or pointer stick to direct attention to important elements.

Blogger and educator Lisa Nielsen also suggests a free and simple pointer for any occasion: the computer’s mouse cursor.

A well-made presentation does a lot towards conveying your message, but it hardly matters if you can’t command people’s full attention or if you commit errors which ruin your credibility.

Don’t take all the previous tips as ways to compensate for a lackluster deck. Instead, use these to complement and boost a good one by ensuring that your audience will be active listeners and willing recipients of your message.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

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References:

Body Language: Signify Intent with Movement.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 20, 2014. Accessed May 5, 2015.
How to Dress for a Public Speech.” UCCS. Accessed May 5, 2015.
Moore, Matthew. “Stress of Modern Life Cuts Attention Spans to Five Minutes.” The Telegraph. November 26, 2008. Accessed May 5, 2015.
Occam’s Razor and Simplifying Presentation Content.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 30, 2014. Accessed May 5, 2015.
The Ten No Nos of Teaching with a Projector or Interactive Whiteboard.” Lisa Nielsen: The Innovative Educator. Accessed May 5, 2015.
Your Voice Is The Most Valuable Presentation Tool.” SlideGenius, Inc. January 27, 2015. Accessed May 5, 2015.