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Boosting Your Body Language for Better Presentations

Preparing the content of your deck is only half the battle in delivering a presentation. You can have the most beautifully designed and eloquently written presentation in history, but if your public speaking skills are not up to snuff, then it will be all for naught.

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As the saying goes, “it’s not about what you say, but how you say it.”

Simply put, delivering a good presentation takes demonstrating good body language. Presentation experts will tell you, beyond simply knowing your content, it’s important to be able to show confidence and relatability in front of your audience. When your body language complements your content, then you’re sure to deliver a great presentation.

In this article, we’ll tackle the key aspects of body language that will boost your presentation skills to the next level.

Posture

Whether you’re sitting down or standing up, how you carry yourself greatly affects the entire mood of your presentation. You never want to be caught slouching, as it makes you look lazy and unprofessional.

Maintaining an upright and open posture presents a confident and charismatic stance to your audience. It also makes you feel more confident.

A good tip is to loosen up before your presentation. It’s meant to release all the nervous tension that may cause you to stand or sit in awkward positions.

Eye contact

Perhaps one of the most neglected steps in presenting is establishing a good connection with the audience.

The stronger the connection, the more receptive your audience will be to what you’re presenting. The quickest way to develop that is with eye contact. It sends a subtle message that you are paying attention to them, making you deserve their attention.

It may seem like a small detail, but it also subconsciously tells them how confident you are in your presentation.

Facial expressions

While we’re on the topic of connections, remember to be aware of your facial expressions.

When it’s appropriate, you’ll want to smile as much as possible. No one enjoys sitting through a presentation from someone who looks like they do not want to be there.

Remember that audiences tend to mimic or feed off the emotions of the presenter facing them.

With a smile on your face, you have the power to uplift the room you step in front of.

Gestures and Movement

As the presenter, it’s your mission to keep your audience engaged. Incorporating hand gestures and movement can be what makes the difference between a dull presentation and a captivating one.

Think of your arms and legs as storytelling tools. Hand gestures add emphasis to your speech while movement along the stage can guide the attention of your audience. And like any tool, you must handle these with care and precision. You need to strike a balance in your use of gestures and movements so that they come off as part of your natural motions and not overly rehearsed.

While presentation styles may vary from person to person, body language is universal. It’s a form of communication that speaks beyond words and potentially adds to the impact of your presentation.

To presentation specialists, using subtle hints in body language is an invaluable skill in communication and public speaking. With enough practice, you’ll be instinctively using your body language to deliver more dynamic presentations.

To learn more ways to elevate your presentations, you can contact us anytime! At SlideGenius, it’s our passion to design exceptional PowerPoint presentations. We believe that good business starts with a well-made presentation.

Let us handle the designs, while you can practice on your delivery!

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Delivering Great PowerPoint Presentations on Monday Mornings

When Monday morning comes from around the corner, the sudden rush of work can overwhelm you. After a nice, relaxing weekend, having to attend—or hold—your first meeting for the week can be demotivating.

Have you ever felt this way? Chances are, your audience feels the same way, too.

Don’t let vacation blues hinder you from delivering your message. Make your listeners feel at ease as you warm them up for another busy week.

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Here are some simple tips to help you hold an effective discussion on a Monday morning:

Aim for Simplicity

Being bombarded with heavy visuals and complex figures are big presentation annoyances that you must avoid, especially on Mondays.

It’s like experiencing traffic on your way to work—it makes you feel dead tired and unproductive when you finally reach the office.

You don’t want to be the reason why your audience had a bad start to their week. Make your PowerPoint slides simple and focus more on discussing and fleshing out your key points.

The “less is more” approach can help you a lot in keeping your presentation simple and organized. This also works in making your message more digestible and engaging in the shortest amount of time possible, especially now that people’s attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds, as noted by Cynthia Price of Entrepreneur.

Tidy up your main ideas and outline your points to know what your presentation will be focusing on.

Keep your introduction brief and include only the vital information that complements your topic.

Avoid plugging in large chunks of data and complicated transitions in your PowerPoint slide. Use slide transitions judiciously to increase visual clarity and improve communication.

Make It Personal

Reinforcing a personal relationship with your audience does a great job in countering Monday madness. Establish a connection with them to build surefire audience involvement.

Ask a simple question, like how they spent their weekends. This lets you to begin conversations and connect with your audience on a personal level. This technique helps you move between sections of your presentation, while maintaining everyone’s interest.

Call them by their first names (such as Mr. John or Ms. Joyce instead of Mr. Burns or Ms. Owens) to make them feel they belong in your presentation. This works especially when you want to create a light yet professional public speaking atmosphere.

Improving your verbal and nonverbal cues such as eye contact, hand gestures, and facial expressions also encourage them to welcome your viewpoints and trust what you say.

Your use of language is also another important aspect in developing a fruitful relationship with your audience. Speak the right words at the right moment to keep them interested throughout your speech.

Shift your focus around the room every now and then to involve as many people as possible in your talk.

Vary your hand movements to add emphasis and help describe events. Try to use open gestures like open palms to symbolize gentleness and portray a friendly image.

Practice showing appropriate facial expressions to convey your passion towards the subject and the audience’s concern.

Inject Some Fun

Most people feel lazy on Mondays. It was even voted as the most hated day of the week in The Escapist’s poll: Worst day of the week.

Call it Monday blues or hangovers, but that’s not an excuse to be less productive, especially at work.

When tasked to deliver a pitch to your colleagues or the executives, injecting some fun helps ease the sluggishness and liven up one’s day. According to Lisa Marshall, host and creator of The Pubic Speaker podcast, incorporating humor in your speech creates an immediate connection between you and your audience.

Besides establishing rapport, it also helps you gain attention in the simplest way. To get everything right, begin your presentation with a smile and your audience will definitely smile back. The positivity needs to start with you, so always keep a smiling face to show them you’re delighted in presenting for them.

Making people laugh is one way to make your presentation more memorable. Crack a joke that fits your message, or insert a funny image or video without going overboard and derailing your discussion.

Another creative way of injecting humor is by poking fun at your mistakes or at your most embarrassing stories. This shows your authenticity and makes the audience feel you’re only human, just like them.

Comic elements will convince and entertain your audience.

At the same time, don’t overdo things just to wake the audience up. Your presentation’s humor should always point back to your key points. The substance of your presentation always comes first. After all, it’s what your audience came for.

Conclusion

Even Monday morning PowerPoint presentations can be interesting, as long as you create an effective pitch that hints at great benefits to share, instead of a sleep-inducing one.

Make your presentation simple enough to understand so that they don’t tune out due to heavy technical terms. The simpler it is, the more memorable it becomes for the audience.

Add a personal touch in your speech. Ask them simple questions about their day and addressing them by their first names instead of their last names.

Inject some fun by sharing dose of positive emotions. Making people feel at ease captivates them even after your talk is over.

Unleash these communication efforts within you and liven up your audiences, no matter how much they hate this day.

No matter what day of the week it is, SlideGenius is here to address your concerns.

 

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References

“Involving your audience.” University Leicester. n.d. Accessed May 15, 2015. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/presentations/involve

Marshall, Lisa. “How to Avoid Making Humor Mistakes in Speeches.” Quick and Dirty Tips. December 25, 2009. Accessed May 15, 2015.  www.quickanddirtytips.com/business-career/public-speaking/how-to-avoid-making-humor-mistakes-in-speeches

Price, Cynthia. “The 8-Second Challenge: Email Marketing for Our Shrinking Attention Span.” Entrepreneur. March 18, 2014. Accessed May 15, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/232266

“What day of the week is the worst one?” The Escapist. n.d. Accessed May 15, 2015. www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.84326-Poll-Worst-day-of-the-week