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How to Use Body Language Like a Presentation Expert

People communicate not only with words but with small actions like smiling, raising eyebrows, hand gestures, and other non-verbal cues.

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Words aren’t enough to effectively convey your intended message. Use body language like a presentation expert to deliver a successful presentation.

Defining Body Language

Non-verbal gestures are quiet, but they add impact to sales presentations. Posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact contribute greatly to expressing and complementing your main idea.

In your next corporate meeting, use these non-verbal cues to reinforce your presentation skills.

Why It’s Important

Body language speaks louder than words. In fact, Albert Mehrabian’s 7%-38%-55% rule states that non-verbal communication covers about 90% of overall messages’ impact. Spoken words influence your audience the least.

Your audience judges your physical behavior because it reveals your character and signifies your intent. Align your body language with your message to display authority and influence.

How It Helps You

Here’s how each of the typical signals affects your viewers:

Eye Contact

Never discount the value of looking into your listeners’ eyes to connect with them. This makes your audience feel that they’re involved and also shows that you trust them and have nothing to hide. This is useful when giving and receiving feedback or prompting others to speak.


Good posture indicates competence and confidence. Stand up straight yet relaxed, and avoid slouching or hunching over. This shows that you’re in control while also expressing friendliness, positivity, and even detachment when needed.

Hand Gestures

Your palm has the power to persuade your audience. Use an open palm together with fingers toward the audience to express sincerity. Face your palm backwards with fingers upward for persuading. Use a precision grip with your index finger and thumb together for emphasizing key points, or a power fist for grasping an issue.

Go above and beyond the spoken or written language with nonverbal communication. Even the simplest body movements, such as glancing at your audience, gesturing with your hand, or standing up straight, give your presentation implicit meanings.

Be cautious about your body language and use only those actions that’ll support your content and delivery. With enough practice, you’ll be able to land those sales with one word and one gesture.

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Body Language: Signify Intent with Movement.” SlideGenius, Inc. October 20, 2014. Accessed June 2, 2015.
Mehrabian’s Communication Research.” Business Balls. Accessed June 2, 2015.

Using Neutral Facial Expressions in Professional Presentations

Did you know that the old maxim, your face speaks a thousand words, applies in the context of professional presentations? Your facial expression plays a vital role in boosting your credibility, and in connecting with your audience.

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To become a professional presenter, use your facial expressions to your advantage, but this doesn’t mean you can just arch your eyebrows, frown, smile, or grimace. Sometimes, maintaining a neutral facial expression works best.

Sometimes, maintaining a neutral facial expression works best.

Keeping a straight face

A neutral face is a blank expression that implies a lack of perceptible emotion. Most of the time an emotionless face is defined by straight-lined mouths, unfocused eyes, and slack cheeks.

Though it communicates negativity to some, others see it as a reflection of calmness.

It’s the simplest way to detach yourself emotionally from the situation, making you deliver a more effective and professional presentation.

How this can work for you

A neutral expression may work when giving audiences an unbiased take on varying concerns and opinions. It’s ideal for expressing both disinterest and interest in the topic, while absorbing or listening to the idea being presented.

Doing this not only reflects your professionalism, but it also displays your respect towards them.

When this expression is most appropriate

All the other facial expressions openly display a person’s emotions, while the neutral face hides and balances your composure during stressful situations.

According to speech trainer Kathy Reiffenstein, some appropriate situations for the neutral face include:

Confrontational or Argumentative Discussions

As a presenter, you should have the innate skill of maintaining a steady facial expression, especially during difficult talks and arguments.

When you’re at the peak of your emotions, there’s a tendency to become less aware of your words and actions. That’s why neutrality must be applied to show people that you treat your work seriously and professionally.

Irrelevant Answers

When someone answers incorrectly, showing a neutral expression won’t embarrass them. Nobody would want a getting a laugh or a frown as a response.

Avoid making disrespectful expressions after hearing an erroneous reply. Instead, treat your audience with care and politeness by providing the correct answer and thanking them for responding.

Expressing Opposing Views

You’re also required to remain neutral when faced with opposing viewpoints. You have to weigh the strong and weak points of different views, without jumping to conclusions and expressing negative reactions.

This motivates your audience to share different perspectives and ideas. Otherwise, varying facial expressions dissuade them from sharing their point of views.

Disruptive Audience Members

Dealing with a difficult audience is a common challenge for every presenter. There’ll always be someone who likes to cause trouble or hear themselves talk.

In cases like this, maintaining a neutral face helps you keep your cool. It communicates your sense of maturity and persistence in handling a disrespectful audience.

Every presenter’s goal is to deliver successful and professional presentations. Though expressing yourself is important, an understated approach is more appropriate in certain situations.

Apply a neutral face during your presentation to convey your message without sounding or looking biased.

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Be a Presentation Virtuoso with Deliberate Practice.” SlideGenius, Inc. February 26, 2015. Accessed May 6, 2015.
Reiffenstein, Kathy. “3 Places To Use A Neutral Face In Your Presentations.” And Now Presenting. January 30, 2015. Accessed May 6, 2015.

More Than Words: How to Improve Your Nonverbal Cues

In presentations, the audience perceive more than the words you share with them. They also derive meaning from nonverbal cues. Your mannerisms, facial expressions, and body language can say a lot about you and the topic you’re discussing.

A successful outcome doesn’t just rely on perfecting your slides and talking points. It also rests on how well you can hold yourself in front of a crowd. It doesn’t matter if you’re pitching to a small group or addressing a huge auditorium, improving your nonverbal cues can help in achieving your goals.

Your mannerisms, facial expressions, and body language can say a lot about you and the topic you’re discussing. A successful outcome doesn’t just rely on perfecting your slides and talking points. It also rests on how well you can hold yourself in front of a crowd.

Posture and gestures

The way you stand can have an effect on how the audience perceives you. In our previous discussion on body language, we went into Amy Cuddy’s ‘power pose‘. According to the social psychologist, the simple act of standing straight can give you more confidence when facing a crowd. This shows that you’re sure of yourself and the information you’re presenting.

To maintain proper posture, keep your shoulders square and feet planted firmly on the ground. Avoid shifting your weight from one leg to another or swaying side to side. It’s also important that you don’t look too stiff. Aside from confidence, you want to show the audience that you feel comfortable in a position of authority. Walking around your space will allow you to feel more natural and at ease.

Just be sure to keep your movements purposeful and minimal. If you want to walk around the stage, stay in one spot for a few moments. The best way to do this is by following the natural flow of your presentation. Finish discussing one point in a certain part of the stage before moving to another spot.

Make use of strong and defined gestures to add emphasis to the points you’re making. Most presenters like to extend their arms in an open gesture to convey their sincerity. Just keep in mind that these should be well-coordinated with what you’re trying to convey.

Facial expressions

Aside from posture and gestures, your face also plays an important role in delivering nonverbal cues. A single word can be defined in various ways, depending on how you look when you say it.

With a smile, the word “go” can be a form of encouragement and support. With a more aggressive expression, it can be a sign of impatience. In presentations, don’t forget that changes like these can alter how the audience perceives what you share.

As a general rule, you should always try to smile throughout your presentation. You want to be able to project a positive and lively atmosphere. A blank face can make you look bored and uninterested, which your audience can easily discern. How will they take interest in your discussion that way? If you want them to connect with your message, your face should always match what you’re trying to say.

Eye contact

Your face will look lifeless if you don’t know what to do with your eyes. As the old saying goes, the eyes are the window to the soul. Communication is all about making a connection. Keynote speaker, Carol Kinsey Goman expounds on how eye contact is an important factor in achieving that.

Eye contact is easy if you’re addressing a small crowd, but how are you supposed to do it with a large audience? Pick a handful of people that are seated in different parts of the room. Find a few seated on the left, some seated in the middle, and others seated in the right. Look to the group on the left for a few seconds before you move on to the other group.

This will give the impression that you’re paying close attention to everyone in the room. Avoid darting your eyes all over the room. Keep your attention toward one direction at a time.


With all that said, utilizing nonverbal cues to improve your presentation can be a bit of a challenge.

Our bodies will often betray how we feel in certain circumstances. When you’re feeling nervous or anxious, your hands might shake or your voice might falter.

You might tend to slouch or take on a defensive posture like crossing your arms. This is why it’s important to take the time to rehearse how you’ll deliver your presentation.

Make active decisions about your nonverbal cues to avoid confusing your audience. The goal is to deliver a message that is clear and concise. You can’t do that if your nonverbal cues are in conflict with your words.



Goman, Carol-Kinsey. “Fascinating Facts About Eye Contact.” Forbes. August 21, 2014. Accessed January 6, 2015.
Hand Gestures: What to do with your hands when presenting.” Speak Like a Pro. Accessed January 6, 2015.
How to Use Body Language Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius PowerPoint Design & Presentation Experts. June 2, 2015. Accessed January 6, 2015.
Power Your Presentations with These Body Language Tips.” SlideGenius PowerPoint Design & Presentation Experts. July 16, 2014. Accessed January 6, 2015.
Public Speaking Tips.” Art of Communicating. Accessed January 6, 2015.
Your Body Language Shapes Who You AreAmy Cuddy. Accessed January 6, 2015.


Featured Image: Gratisography

Body Language: Signify Intent with Movement

Nonverbal cues are just as important as the slides you’re presenting. The way you stand and move across the stage can have significant impact on the message you’re delivering. Improve your presentations and increase your influence by learning more about the art of body language.

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Body language is a powerful weapon

In a previous blog post, we discussed how body language plays an important role in forming positive impressions. Your first few seconds on stage is particularly crucial. In that short span of time, the audience can gather enough information to form their own opinions about you. As Mark Bowden, author of Winning Body Language, points out,

“In the first few seconds of meeting someone, they will determine whether you are friend or predator, and the rest of the time their brains will be gathering information to support that.”

A recent study conducted by Dr. Alex Pentland takes this one step further. As quoted by Susanne Garguilo of CNN, research concludes that “body language can predict the outcome of interactions such as job interviews, dating, negotiations, etc., with an average accuracy of 80%.”

As such, we can’t possibly ignore the power body language has to significantly improve presentation delivery. If you want to connect with the audience, you need to show them that you’re trustworthy and reliable. You need to form a presence that commands their attention.

How body language adds to your presentation

Contrary to popular belief, body language isn’t similar to the way we express ourselves through speech. A certain movement doesn’t necessarily correspond to a specific word or feeling. There’s no such thing as a body language handbook or dictionary that will help you crack the hidden meaning behind particular gestures. As Forbes contributor Nick Morgan writes,

Gestures are ambiguous. They can mean many things. If I cross my arms, I may be signaling my defensiveness, but I may also be cold, or simply tired and propping myself up with my arms – or just getting comfortable. And I could be signaling all those things at once. It’s possible to be simultaneously cold, tired, defensive, and desirous of comfort.”

When we’re unconscious of our movements, body language is pretty good at signifying our emotional intent.

“…research shows that whatever we’re feeling first shows up in our body, and only later (nanoseconds later) in our conscious minds. So, if we’re hungry, or impatient, or angry, or happy, our bodies know first, and they will pretty reliably signal those feelings. Learning to read body language, then, is a matter of learning to understand other people’s intents, not their specific conscious thoughts.”

If this is the case, how does body language add to presentation delivery? It works by highlighting the points and arguments you’re making. In other words, conscious adjustment of your posture, gestures, and expression will emphasize and underscore whatever your saying.

In this way, body language allows you to add an emotional dimension to your presentations. Even if your good posture doesn’t necessarily correspond to a specific meaning, it nonetheless shows the audience something positive and welcoming.

Allow body language to add intent and dimension to your presentation by reading more tips:

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Featured Image: -5m via Flickr

Power Your Presentations with These Body Language Tips

Aside from meaningful content and great PowerPoint design, presentations are also about putting your best foot forward. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to secure an investor or promote a new product: a huge part of it involves making a favorable impression with body language and non-verbal cues.

We all know how body language plays an important role in forming first impressions. As best-selling author and keynote speaker Bernard Marr said,

“According to research done by a Princeton University psychologist, it’s an evolutionary survival mechanism. Your brain decides from the information it has—in other words, how you look—whether you are trustworthy, threatening, competent, likeable and many other traits.”

The audience immediately forms their opinion of you even before you speak and pull up your slides. The only way to avoid negative and hasty assumptions is by making sure you’re presenting yourself in the best way possible.

Take note of these body language tips, and get the best outcome for your presentations:

1. The Power Pose

Think back to when you were younger and how your mother constantly asked you not to slouch. Standing straight isn’t only good for your posture. As it turns out, it’s also a great way to convey authority and feel confidence.

In the TED Talk, “Your body language shapes who you are”, social psychologist Amy Cuddy explores how ‘power posing’ can lead to success. Her research suggests that changing your posture can affect your body chemistry, particularly the levels of testosterone and cortisol in your brain.

Amy Cuddy: Body language TED Talk
An infographic of Amy Cuddy’s presentation via the TED Blog. (Click to view full image at source)

The next time you’re feeling a bit anxious about presenting, try the power pose. Start your presentation with your back straight. Let your arms fall to your side and relax.

2. Movement

Don’t spend the rest of your presentation standing straight in one spot. Always be mindful of the space you have and use it to your advantage. As Amy Cuddy pointed out, power is displayed by making yourself big and taking up as much space as you can.

Use your hands to emphasize points once in a while with strong and defined gestures. Something Steve Jobs used to do was open up his arms like this:

Steve Jobs body language-open arms
Image: Tim Patterson (Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you’re presenting on a big stage, try to walk around every now and then. Move in a way that’s natural to you, and show your audience just how comfortable you are.

3. Eye-Contact

The success of your presentation is determined by your ability to connect with your audience. Aside from engaging them with great visuals and expert storytelling, try to make eye contact. While it’s clearly impossible to look at everyone in your audience in the eye, you can still establish rapport by following the ‘three count rule’ by Dan Rockwell.

“Look at someone on the left and count to three. Look to the middle and count to three, and so on. Don’t scan the audience. Scanners disconnect. Tip: Don’t keep looking at the power people in the audience.”

Let your body language show that you’re present and ready to consider how your audience feel about your presentation.

4. Facial Expressions

body language - facial expressions

People often forget that facial expression is an important element to body language. More than how you stand or move, it’s your face that tells people what you might be thinking. Just consider how the word “great” can mean two different things if said with a pursed lip or a smile.

You can alter meaning with your facial expressions. The audience refers to your face to fully understand what you’re sharing. Smile as often as you can and try to make your face look as lively as possible. If you aren’t naturally expressive, take some time to practice your speech in front of a mirror. A blank face can make you look bored or uninterested, so make sure to connect your verbal cues with inviting expressions.



Cuddy, Amy. “Your body language shapes who you are.” TED. Accessed July 17, 2014.
Secrets to Great Presentations.” Leadership Freak. 2014. Accessed July 17, 2014.


Featured Image: kev-shine via Flickr

What to Do To Regain Audience Attention

Presenters wouldn’t want to bore the audience with a winding speech with innumerable slides to match. There are times, however, when you just have to face an indifferent audience.

Teachers and lecturers especially encounter this type of problem most of the time. You may have prepared a 20-minute presentation, but if it feels like your target is indifferent to you from the start, then your preparation is all for naught.

If you’ve been in such situation, it might not be your fault after all. The next time you encounter that type of audience, here are some things you can do:

Be Aware of Warning Signs

When you get caught up in your presentation, you might end up rambling. This can cause you to be oblivious to the fact that your audience is tuning out.

In your next pitch, take note of the signs that people’s eyes are wandering off. They could be fidgeting or shifting in their seats. Some may even be squirming.

Those who are truly bored may be checking their watches and surreptitiously looking for the exit signs. To save your presentation, you need to be aware of such signals so you can react accordingly.

Connect Using the Right Body Language

According to body language expert Carol Kinsey Goman, when audience attention falters, non-verbal communication can play a significant part in keeping them engaged.

A strong eye contact, for example, can help jolt an audience member into paying attention. You may also use your voice to project and maintain control. In your spare time, try to learn how to vary the pitch and loudness of your voice.

Additionally, make sure to maintain the right stance. This will help you convey confidence and authority.

Break your Pattern

If you’ve been droning on for a few minutes, think about pausing for about 10 seconds. Doing so will surely get everyone to pay attention.

They’ll be surprised that you stopped. This will create anticipation on what you are going to say next.

Practice your Opener

Your slides won’t do everything for you. You can’t just show them to your audience while you go on reading from your notes.

You may not notice it but how well you prepare can affect how you hold your audience’s attention. Speech coach Sims Wyeth suggests that one of the most important parts you should master is delivering a great opener.

When you’re successful with your opener, you will be able to create a framework that prepares your audience for what they are about to hear.


Even the best presenters have difficulty commanding audience attention 100% of the time. It’s inevitable that people’s attention spans will stray from you.

However, there are ways to reel them back in. Surprise them by breaking your speech pattern, or starting off on the right foot. Impress them with a good pitch, and guarantee all eyes trained on you for the rest of your speech.



Goman, Carol Kinsey. “10 Simple and Powerful Body Language Tips for 2013.” Forbes. Accessed June 12, 2014.
Wyeth, Sims. “10 Ways Great Speakers Capture People’s Attention.” March 05, 2014. Accessed June 12, 2014.

How to Humanize Your Virtual Presentations

In an age where advances in Internet technology allow us to communicate from nearly anywhere at any time, virtual presentations are naturally becoming more and more prevalent.

We’ve previously pointed out that things like body language, movement, and eye contact are vital in establishing trust with your audience during a powerpoint presentation, but what happens when you’re no longer visible to the people you’re presenting to? When presenting online, whether it’s through Skype or a Webinar, there are a few things that must be done in order to keep your audience captivated in the online world.

Body Language?

Wait, didn’t we just decide that body language isn’t a factor? Well, sort of.

Although unseen, poor body language can have a serious indirect effect on your presentation.
Although unseen, poor body language can have a serious indirect effect on your presentation.

Just because your audience can’t see you, doesn’t mean that there aren’t some indirect effects from your body movement. Rather than slouch in your chair for your entire presentation, stand-up and move around a little. This will open up your diaphragm and amplify your energy, which will be apparent to your audience through the enthusiasm conveyed by the tone of your voice.

Prepare Your Environment

Don’t make the embarrassing age-old mistake of having an alarm or ring go off during your presentation. Close all your windows on your computer that might make a noise, and set your cell phone on silent. We know you probably know better, but this happens far too often not to mention. And if you’re giving your presentation at your desk, remove all distractions your prone to fiddling with while distracted, especially the ones that tend to make noise.

Don't let this be you during your virtual presentation. Err on the side of caution and prepare for the worst.
Don’t let this be you during your virtual presentation. Err on the side of caution and prepare for the worst.

Not that technological mishaps are ever desirable, but they’re especially problematic with a virtual presentation. Make sure you allot twenty to thirty minutes prior to the start of your presentation to make sure all systems are go before crunch time. It’s also a good idea to find a moderator to assist you in managing your presentation in the background and fielding questions from your audience online. You don’t want to have to multitask while keeping the conversation going.

You are Your Slides

Wait, what?

By this, we mean that you won’t get a chance to show off your dazzling smile or your killer wardrobe when presenting through the web. Your presentation deck is the only first impression you’ll be able to make, so you better make sure it’s a good one.

Your slides can tell audiences that you’re a competent, creative, and upbeat person, or they can say that you’re sloppy and uncaring. Your personal appearance wont be there, so added emphasis on your slides is a must.

You likely won't be seen during a virtual presentation, so you'll have to let your slides do the talking.
You likely won’t be seen during a virtual presentation, so you’ll have to let your slides do the talking.

This leads to a common problem with virtual presentations: keeping your audience’s attention. Audience members may click around on the web while you’re speaking, minimize your window and tune out, because as cynical as it sounds, you likely won’t be able to tell the difference.

A captivating presentation deck is the first step toward solving this problem. The second is to stay proactive about directing your audience’s attention back to your slides. This differs from an in-person presentation where you usually remain the center of attention. By constantly referring to your slides, your online audience will have to focus their eyes and ears on your presentation to retain your information.

While you must consider the different senses that your audience will be focusing on in a virtual presentation, the tenants of good presenting remain the same. Do your research, rehearse thoroughly, and show up with a killer presentation deck–you’ll do just fine.

How to Make Your First Impression Count in the Business World

You don’t get a redo with a flubbed first impression, especially in the modern business world defined by a hyper-fast pace and short attention span.

We meet new faces every day, and you can’t downplay the importance of these first impressions, especially with an important contact or a corporate presentation. Because of the pressure and importance associated with first impressions, it’s easy to become nervous or over think the situation, but paying attention to a few basic concerns about your behavior and physical appearance can help you relax and make a memorable impression.

Whether you’re meeting someone face to face or engaging a group of people, knowing what cues will cause others to form opinions about you in less than 10 seconds can be the difference between success and failure.

Physical appearance

first impression

This may seem shallow, but your physical appearance and your body language will be the two key factors in how you will first be perceived by others, and keep in mind that the bulk of the first impression will be made in seven seconds, and that impression is unlikely to ever change.

Dress with care, it’s a sign of competency and attention to detail to others, but be wary not to overdress for the occasion. That can also show incompetency–even insensitivity. Furthermore, while it’s important to show individuality, creativity, and originality through your appearance, don’t go overboard, especially in a professional setting. Find out the appropriate dress code (i.e. casual, formal) and craft your creativity within that context. Also, making sure you’re well groomed and appropriately dressed can give you the boost of confidence you need if you’re walking into a situation that may make you a little apprehensive.

Remain open, confident, and relaxed

Your body language can say a lot about your personality and attitude as well, so it’s important to give off a positive, open vibe through your gestures, posture, and body language.

Good posture and a firm handshake will show confidence and assertiveness, which are too highly valued qualities in the business world. Conversely, slouching can be a sign of lack of self esteem and low energy.

Confidence is key to being taken seriously, but appearing open and friendly can’t be undervalued. Your body should face the person you’re speaking to. To ensure the person that you’re giving them your full attention, maintain eye contact, and don’t glance at your watch, phone, or what other people in the room might be doing.

Knowing what not to do is just as important. We all have nervous habits that we begin doing unconsciously. While we may not even be aware of these habits, such as biting our fingernails, crossing and uncrossing our legs, or touching our hair and face, others are, and becoming aware of and controlling these habits is imperative in order to present yourself effectively.

While this may seem like a hefty list of things to be conscious of, the most important tip is simply to be confident, because the majority of these techniques of good-impression making are just symptoms of confidence.

Body Movement in your Presentation; How to Make it or Break it

Would you deem it appropriate for Obama to give his State of the Union address while sitting in a “chris-cross-applesauce” position? No, you would not. That is because you know that he would look childish, immature, unprofessional, and similar to how I sat in elementary school.  Body language dictates how we are perceived in any situation. On a very base, subconscious level, and this goes double when we’re in front of an audience, body language can make or break what people think of us and what we are saying in a matter of seconds. When all eyes are on you, your movements, posture and body language carry more gravity than usual, so each requires even more attention on your part.

Most studies find that verbal communication makes up less than 10 percent of all human communication, while nonverbal communication (i.e. body language, eye contact, etc.) makes up roughly 55 percent of communications. Here are a few tips to guarantee your body is portraying the message that aligns with your professional presentation.


Face your audience head on

Take a power stance: Square your shoulders to the direction of the audience and plant your feet far enough apart to be sturdy and balanced. However, if you’ve ample space when presenting, utilize it. Facing your audience head on doesn’t mean becoming a statue. Make it a deliberate point to move from point to point while you speak. This will give you a more vibrant, commanding presence that will demand attention from your audience.

Steve Jobs at an Apple presentation
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs utilizes his large floor space while remaining open to the audience.

Eye contact

Eye contact is a pivotal part of communication in Western culture. The unspoken understanding is that when a person avoids eye contact, it’s because they’re lying or nervous. When presenting, eye contact is vital in order to ensure your audience trusts the validity of what you’re saying.

A good trick is to pick out three people in the audience: one in the center of the audience, one in the left corner, and one in the right corner; Alternate between them.

Some will tell you all you need to do is pick a few spots on the back wall of the room, but the problem here is that you’re not actually connecting with anyone, and that can make the presentation feel insincere or inhuman. Eye contact is vital for making a connection with your audience.

Never underestimate the importance of good posture

Superman having great posture wearing a cape
Superman, the epitome of cape wearers and good posture, has the puffed-out chest and arched back.

An upright, open posture can signify success, confidence, honesty, positivity, vibrancy—the list is practically endless. The point is: have good posture. If you often catch yourself slouching, try standing and walking as if you were wearing a cape; that’ll give you a good idea of how you should be standing.

Posture is especially important when presenting, because it’s directly correlated to being perceived as confident. Your audience doesn’t want to listen to someone who doesn’t appear to be resolute in the message he or she is presenting.

While having a well-designed PowerPoint presentation from a PowerPoint specialist can go a long way in creating a clear, convincing professional presentation, there’s no substitute for confidence. Body language can reveal a lot about a person, and when correctly mastered, can do a great deal to ensure a lasting impression on others. The most important thing is to relax, remain open, and be comfortable in your own skin.

Stand-Up Comedians: Using Body Language to Convey a Message

Despite often appearing to be the least serious people on the planet, stand-up comedians have a lot to teach us about the visual aspect of presenting. Stand-up comedy blends performance art and public speaking, and these comedians must work tirelessly to perfect their presentation skills in order to not make a fool of themselves on stage.

These comedians incorporate drastic body language, visual aids and creative nonverbal communication to get their “message” across. Here are a few impressive examples that can teach anyone giving a professional presentation a lot about how to wow an audience.


Here is an excellent display of nonverbal communication by one of the most vibrant comedians around at the very start of his career. His entire joke, which lasts more than three minutes, consists of just a couple sentences wrapped up by a three-word punchline. If you take a look at our previous post discussing how to use body language to improve your presenting skills, you’ll see that the majority of how we communicate is nonverbal. Though it may seem ludicrous, Jim Carrey uses his body language as a powerful communication tool, and relies almost exclusively on it during his performance.


Creating a unique persona for yourself is a highly effective way to make a lasting impression on people you encounter. While in the business world, especially when giving a professional presentation, a positive, confident persona will most likely be the best strategy, comedian Zach Galifianakis has mastered the art of creating a whole persona–an easily recognizable character–in so subtle a way that he can seemingly stand there, say practically nothing, and have people rolling on the ground laughing.

Syncing your talking points with your presentation tool (your PowerPoint presentation) is vital in order to get your message across clearly and concisely. Dimitri Martin is a master of visual comedy, and here he is showing something very similar to a slide-by-slide presentation. Pay careful attention to Martin’s timing and momentum, especially the way he builds anticipation for the point he’s about to make.

When giving a professional presentation, we always recommend having a professionally designed PowerPoint in your arsenal. Simply showing up to the presentation with a PowerPoint presentation (no matter how good it is) will be quite enough. Knowing how to blend your talking points, body movements and your visual accompaniment is the key to a seamless presentation.

When crafting your presentation to compliment your PowerPoint–or the other way around–it’s important to practice and coordinate carefully. Think about timing, simplicity, and highlighting your key points so that they’ll make an impact on your audience.