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Presentation Skills We Can Learn from Gymnastics

Gymnastics is not solely about learning split leaps, jumps, and handstands. It’s about harnessing an individual’s physical strength, agility, and determination to execute astounding physical feats. In an article on FloGymnastics, Keri Monstrola shows us that the sport transcends its craft and manages to relate itself to other parts of our life as well.

The skills gymnasts learn in training are perfect building blocks for presentations. Here are some more gymnastics skills you need to learn to become a well-rounded speaker:

Overcoming Fear

Gymnasts work through their fears to undertake difficult routines on uneven bars, springboards, and balance beams. It’s impossible for them to pull off perfect tens on each activity without mastering the first step: overcoming fear. Likewise, presenters must set aside and face their personal public speaking fears.

If you’re afraid of being the center of attention, making mistakes, or feeling dissatisfied with your presentation skills, consider the hardships of gymnasts. The tumbling passes at different heights are more terrifying – and have greater physical consequences – than speaking in front of a crowd.

Your life isn’t put at risk, but your business reputation or sales deals are.

Social Interaction

All professionals pass through the beginning stages. Aspiring gymnasts are also given the chance to develop their social skills like listening, taking turns, and following directions. In turn, the senior students learn to become role models to foster a good learning environment for the newbies.

The same goes for keynote or PowerPoint presentations. Your discussion is a two-way street, breaking the wall between you and your audience. Establish a successful and productive dialogue by asking questions, responding to feedback, and allowing participants to speak up to develop an engaging, audience-centered discussion.

Balance and Control

Balance and control are two of the most important skills to succeed in the sport of gymnastics. The perfect combination and understanding of the two must be incorporated for a seamless execution of every routine.

In public speaking, a harmonious combination of verbal and non-verbal cues demonstrates an interactive speech delivery. Your emotion is what connects you to your audience. Keep them under control so that you appear genuine, but not threatening or insincere.

Conclusion

Gymnastics doesn’t only teach sports enthusiasts positive lessons learned through daily training, but it can also inspire people who make presentations for a living.

Before you can start presenting, you have to overcome your fears to begin your public speaking journey. Presenting isn’t a solo effort. After all, you’re presenting to an audience, so you must make it a conversation by involving the crowd.

Lastly, master a balance of verbal and non-verbal cues to engage different types of audiences in the ways they best learn.

Looking for high-quality PowerPoints for your business? Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or request for a free quote from SlideGenius today.

 

Reference

Monstrola, Keri. “10 Life Skills Learned From Gymnastics.FloGymnastics. November 2, 2014. Accessed August 19, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “TWU Gymnastics [Floor] Mollie & Amy” by Erin Costa on flickr.com

4 Tips on Speaking like a Professional PowerPoint Presenter

A well-crafted and rehearsed speech is crucial for an effective professional PowerPoint presenter. Once you’ve made your deck, sync up your words with your slides.

Use these four tips to get effective presentation ideas for your speech:

1. Begin with Your Basic Argument

Start with your idea, then build it up. One effective way to give a sales or business presentation is to craft it into a story. From introducing new product clients to reporting your company’s latest market shares to your superiors, narratives are a great way to close a sale or get your recommendations approved.

Once you’ve achieved this, add supporting points to solidify your argument. According to creativity mentor, Luke Sullivan, it’s more effective to put it in a sequence from your first to last points. This will make your pitch easier to follow.

2. Get to the Point

The first three minutes of your presentation are often the most crucial. It may depend on the crowd you’re facing, but for business presentations, once you start talking, get your introductions over and done with, and start your pitch. As speech coach Joey Asher suggests, today’s busy work schedules pull people’s attentions away from your pitch and back towards their own lives and work desks.

Throw in your main point and the reasons why your clients should be invested. If you can be interesting or persuasive from your first lines, do so. Even with ten to fifteen minutes at your disposal, you need to get your audiences hooked from the start. It saves time if a host or emcee will do the introductions for you.

3. Write the Way You Talk

If a conversational tone works best for presentations, then writing the way you talk gives you a more persuasive speech. A smooth and easy rhythm makes you sound more natural and easier to understand.

Stick with the rules of grammar to sound professional and use your adjectives wisely. Be clear about the features and points you’ll be talking about. Remember: you’re selling something.

4. Add Your Brand’s Personality

As a presenter, you are the representative of your company and your brand. One trick to bring in your brand’s voice is to find out its own distinct personality. Try to describe it in one adjective or in one word if you can.

This allows you to put your proposal on a different level away from the competition, making it stick long enough in your client’s minds for a possible second look. If you want people to invest in you, give off a presentable image and follow through with convincing reasons. The first step is to make your sales presentation different and effective.

To get your presentation speech and presentation to the level of the pros, take a few minutes to get in touch with us for free!

 

References

Asher, Joey. “For Presentations, Half As Long Is Twice As Good.” Fast Company. December 20, 2012. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Craft Your Corporate Presentations into a Great Story.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 15, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Sullivan, Luke. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Public Speaking: How Diction Affects Your Presentation

Everybody’s miscommunicated at least once in their life. Among many reasons, one of the most overlooked is inappropriate word articulation. It’s never on purpose: many times we speak without realizing that we’re mispronouncing words.

Diction can help or hinder your entire pitch. Aside from the lack of practice, planning, preparation, or an overabundance of filler words, diction affects your audience’s overall understanding of your presentation. We often forget how this mistake distorts our message.

According to speech coach Lisa B. Marshall, diction covers two main things: choice of words and enunciation.

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Good Diction vs. Poor Diction

Choosing the right words and pronouncing them correctly gets your message across and makes your voice sound more professional.

Unfortunately, many public speakers struggle with poor diction or mispronunciation. They barely pay attention to the difference between what we hear and what our audience hears, causing them to unintentionally mislead their audience.

These words might confuse your listeners and prevent them from getting the message clearly.

A few examples of these words include:

“I dunno.” instead of “I don’t know.”
“Probly” instead of “Probably”
“Havta” instead of “Have to”
“Shoulda” instead of “Should have”
“Gonna” instead of “Going to”

Causes of Poor Diction

In his article in And Now Presenting, Oliver Holmes points the cause of poor diction to the fact that people become so used to it that they unconsciously let this speech mistake slide.

While we’re focused on what to say and how the message flows, we barely notice how our diction affects our message delivery. Your speech can also be distorted by dialect, regional speech patterns, and speaking too fast.

Ways to Improve Your Diction

  • Record yourself and look for words that you have trouble pronouncing. Read print materials and observe how you articulate words. Practice reading your presentation and identify areas for improvement.
  • Open your mouth wider and read sentences aloud to hear words repeated and pronounced clearly. Record yourself several times, and always compare your latest recording to your last. Practice by asking a friend to listen to you and give you feedback. This helps you see what to improve and what to avoid.
  • Recite tongue twisters to practice enunciating words quickly. Record yourself and spot mumbled words. Repeat this process until you can easily pronounce those problem words.

Conclusion

Knowing the right words to say and how to pronounce them make you sound more professional and increase your confidence as a presenter.

Record your speech to spot words that you unconsciously mumble. You can also ask your friends and family for help in identifying any hard-to-understand parts of your diction, making you more aware of your common mistakes and preventing you from miscommunicating with your audience.

A clearly delivered pitch is a pitch that’ll get definite sales results. Let SlideGenius help you out with your presentation needs!

 

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References

Avoiding Filler Words in Your Corporate Presentations.SlideGenius, Inc. May 11, 2015. Accessed July 30, 2015.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell. “Presentation Tip: Carve Every Word. ‘Professionally Speaking…’ June 13, 2013. Accessed July 30, 2015.
Marshall, Lisa B. “Diction. Quick and Dirty Tips. February 20, 2009. Accessed July 30, 2015.
What You Need to Achieve Presentation Success.SlideGenius, Inc. February 15, 2015. Accessed July 30, 2015.

The Power of Repeating Words and Phrases in Presentations

The more you listen to a song, the faster you recall its entire lyrics and melody. Repetition helps strengthen the listener’s memory. Soon you’ll be able to associate the repeated lines with anything that’s vaguely related to it. Use this powerful technique to enhance your pitch.

When done correctly, repeating certain words and phrases in your speech makes a lasting impact. Before you tackle this technique, you must first learn how to effectively engage your audience.

Audience recall is another issue. Will they remember key ideas even after the presentation?

What is Anaphora?

Anaphora is a Greek term meaning repetition of words or phrases at each succeeding sentence’s beginning. This rhetorical technique is used for more powerful and memorable political or motivational speeches, like Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He repeated the words “now is the time,” each with different actions such as “lift our nation,” “make justice,” and “rise from the dark,” all to convince his listeners to take action.

Another example is Winston Churchill’s “We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches” during World War II. He reiterates the clause, “We shall fight…” seven times in the passage, each with a different location to show that his country would see the war to the end. This allowed the audience to recall the presenter’s focus and the message itself.

Brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo cites Steve Jobs in his speech, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”, where Jobs demonstrated how this sentence structure allows speakers to effectively command attention. He, himself, even applied this approach in 2010 at Stanford University.

Applying this technique to your sales presentation highlights your message’s important points. To convince your clients to purchase your product, use emphasis to lead to brand retention.

Ways to Use Repetition in Your Speech

Point Out Your Main Idea

Establish your main points before reiterating them in your speech. Prioritize the most important idea down to the least significant one. When doing your speech, list down the key ideas to avoid misleading your audience.

Filter Unnecessary Points

Don’t include out-of-topic statements. After listing down the main idea, remove unnecessary information that might confuse your audience. Say only what needs to be told to get the message across.

Show What Matters

Include visuals or stories which exemplify your main points to give your audience a deeper understanding of your key ideas. Give appropriate illustrations which clarify and support your main points.

Use a Different Style

Try expounding on one key idea in different ways and tell only what’s relevant. Don’t add too many details if they don’t add any concrete or useful information for your audience. You can be creative and still impart your message clearly by being focused.

Add Humor to Your Pitch

Include jokes in your speech to give them a break and a moment to absorb your message. Humorous stories also awaken your audience’s interest and release the serious tension.

Involve Your Audience

Let them restate main points and share their ideas. This makes them more interested to listen and learn from you. Valuing their presence shows that you care about them, making them care more about you.

Provide a Visual to Represent Key Ideas

Offer your audience something that they can take with them. Aside from your PowerPoint visuals, showing concrete examples such as props or any tangible objects gives them further explanation about the subject matter. This helps them recall the speech’s main point.

Repeat Your Main Point

Go back to your key points before ending your presentation. Repeat your key message to ensure that your audience recalls the speech’s most significant ideas.

From Repetition to Retention

Repeating your main points provides your audience with information that you want them to remember. The more you address and repeat your key ideas, the more they keep these in mind. Once you establish an interesting point in your presentation’s beginning, keep emphasizing main ideas that your audience will remember.

SlideGenius is ready to help you make your presentation more convincing and powerful.

 

References

Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York. McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Rhetorical Figures in Sound: Anaphora.” American Rhetoric. Accessed July 28, 2015.
The Art of Props: Why Your Presentation Might Need It.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed July 28, 2015.
Winston Churchill Speech – We Shall Fight Them on the Beaches.” Presentation Magazine. Accessed July 28, 2015.

Recipes for a Humorous But Effective Corporate Presentation

Speakers with the innate ability to insert humor into presentations effectively engage and entertain people. While not everyone is a natural at funny yet effective speeches, you can still bring that therapeutic feeling to your audience.

Your clients already have enough problems to deal with outside your corporate presentation. Give them some reprieve by injecting a little humor into your presentation while proving that you’re the answer to their needs. You don’t have to make fun of yourself to give your presentation an ice breaker.

Speech coach Avish Parashar suggests five steps to adding humor to your presentation. Once you’ve identified what tickles the listener’s funny bone, it’s time to put these into action by incorporating a few techniques. We’ve borrowed three of his humor basics and expounded on them below:

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Wordplay

Wordplay is wittily substituting words that sound similar but mean different things. Play with words to lighten up your discussion.

Popular food bloggers and book authors Janet and Greta Podleski are masters of this literary technique. They always use wordplay in their cookbook and recipe titles, such as “Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry” instead of “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry,” “Lord of the Wings,” “Nacho. Nacho. Man,” and “Another One Bites the Crust.”

Even the most serious audiences get tired of straight data, especially in hours-long presentations. Have pun making your audiences smile for even a second. They’ll appreciate the brief reprise from word-heavy slides and complicated numbers. Memorable and witty words also make them remember your story better.

Puns

Puns lie within the realm of wordplay. They’re done by connecting different ideas in a way where the words are deliberately confused with each other. Talking about an intricate financial report? Try this joke: “A bank manager without anyone around may find himself a-loan.”

Puns aren’t limited to those already made by other people. Experiment and make your own puns that fit your presentation’s message. Some of the best marketing campaigns used terrible puns. They may elicit some groans, but let’s face it: they’re easy to remember, which is great at making your audience remember you after the presentation is over.

Exaggeration

Advertisers exaggerate ideas to attract consumers, making things ridiculously humorous while empowering brand images. Exaggeration delivers a product pitch while at the same time catching your viewers’ attention because of how over-the-top you can get.

Most people don’t talk about a typical day at the office, but they do talk about bizarre incidents. Present an idea in ways that are so unusual that audiences will be compelled to remember and talk about it outside of the conference room.

Conclusion

Presentations aren’t meant to be boring. The more monotone you get, the more likely your audience will tune you out.

Mix things up and engage your audience by putting some comic elements into your speech. Whether you use clever wordplay, puns, or exaggerate ideas, a more humorous delivery is often more memorable than a straight-faced presentation.

Let SlideGenius help you with your presentation needs. Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or submit a form to request a free quote today!

 

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References

Incorporating Humor into a Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 15, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2015.
Parashar, Avish. 5 Ways to Add Humor to Your Presentations Without Being a Comedian.” Speak and Deliver. June 16, 2011. Accessed May 14, 2015.

Paul Boross: The 7 Secrets of a Successful Business Pitch

Competition exists in every business. It’s what drives them to introduce new and original ideas that stand out from those of other companies.

To achieve this, make a pitch that brings positive results.

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Your presentation style, delivery techniques, and body language are other important elements in getting your message across.

Craft your message’s content in an engaging and powerful way to convince your clients when starting your business proposal. This gives them an idea that you’re interested and you know your subject matter well.

Pitch like Paul

In his book, “The Pitching Bible,” Paul Boross revealed seven secrets of a successful business pitch. With over twenty-five years of experience in business, psychology, and performing arts, Boross has been recognized as the Pitch Doctor, having trained politicians and business professionals to deliver effective messages.

Develop your business pitch with his seven secrets:

Secret 1: It’s All About Them

Your audience is your presentation’s main focus. They’re the reason why you’re presenting.

Know what they need and propose a strategy to convince them to buy your ideas. This is to show that you care about them and their concerns.

Secret 2: By the Time You Start, It’s Already Too Late

Your presentation begins when your audience decides to attend, not when you introduce yourself and show your first slide.

Meet their expectations before your performance starts by coming in well-prepared. If they can see that you’ve spent time doing your research and practicing your speech, they’ll decide that listening to you is a good use of their time.

Secret 3: Steady, Ready, Pitch!

Before you speak, breathe deeply to ease your anxiety. Establish a good relationship with them before you even begin by showing you’re comfortable with your audience.

Engage them by telling a story or by asking questions that require their participation.

Secret 4: Dream the Dream

Since your goal is to connect with your audience, your idea should appeal to their emotions.

While you present your facts and figures, incorporate stories that build an emotional connection. Though business presentations should be professional, having a genuine connection will help them remember your message.

Secret 5: Mind Your Language

Your business pitch’s content is as important as your body language. Though nonverbal communication greatly influences your message, your verbal language also plays a vital role in motivating your audience.

Since they look for things that benefit them, apply “benefit because feature” to generate interest. This helps you connect with their needs and address their concerns.

Secret 6: Say It Again, Sam

Repetition is significant when talking about your main points. It helps your audience recall your message by reiterating it in different ways.

More than words, tell your message by means of how you dress, how you interact with them and give them a good impression.

Secret 7: The End… Or Is It?

Your presentation isn’t limited inside the boardroom and doesn’t end after you’re done speaking.

Motivate your audience by making them feel that they want more. Distribute handouts or other forms of white paper to help them remember your message.

Doing a follow-up is vital especially when you want to give updates. You can also listen to your client’s side and get to know them better by networking.

Conclusion

Write a more powerful pitch that benefits both you and your audience by mastering these seven secrets.

Your presentation begins before the actual date you’ll be speaking. Being prepared lets you draw your audience to your message because they understand that you care about meeting their needs. This increases your chances of winning more of your clients’ business the next time you present.

To craft an effective and engaging business presentation, SlideGenius experts can help you out!

 

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References

4 Tips to Build Networks After Your Business Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. June 30, 2015. Accessed July 7, 2015.
The Pitching Bible
Accessed July 7, 2015.
The Science of Effective Storytelling in Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 28, 2014. Accessed July 7, 2015.

Addressing Needs: Maslow’s Motivational Theory for Presenters

Ads are everywhere—the average person is exposed to hundreds of advertisements every day, be it television or radio commercials, billboards, transportation, or social media platforms.

However, only a few of them capture our attention. We only remember appealing and interesting ones.

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Human need is the main reason advertisers continuously introduce products to convince consumers to make buying decisions. In turn, this need motivates us to act towards a desired goal.

Since people are longing for things that benefit them, they constantly search for whatever satisfies their needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Harold Maslow is an American Psychologist who introduced Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in 1943, a theory which illustrates the five stages of human needs: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, as well as self-actualization.

Self-actualization lies at the top of the pyramid as humanity’s most advanced need. However, to reach it, one must fulfill the pyramid’s first four levels. This pyramid doesn’t only apply to general human needs. Various authors and presenters, like Deanna Sellnow, have theorized on its possible use in presentations.

To successfully engage and motivate your listeners, use Maslow’s Motivational Theory with your business or sales presentations. Focus on how your topic benefits your audience. Remember, it’s all about meeting their needs.

Understand your audience’s current situation before getting their attention to make them interested in your discussion. Once you make them believe that your proposal will help them, they’ll see a need to take action.

First Level: Physiological Needs

This phase concerns basic human needs: food, water, air, sleep, etc.

Analyze your audience before crafting your pitch so you’ll know what to include in your presentation. How will you relate your topic to your audience’s concern?

If your client has a problem related to budget, you can offer cost-effective strategies to address their concerns.

Second Level: Safety Needs

This level talks about your audience’s need for security, health, shelter, resources, etc.

Let them know that their safety and comfort are your top priorities. Use personal stories that show you understand what they’re going through, and reassure them that everything will be all right.

Third Level: Love and Belonging

Since people reject loneliness or exclusion, they constantly look for acceptance and approval.

Encourage your audience to form a small group after giving your presentation. Doing so lets them know their colleagues and to share each other’s ideas about the topic, making them feel involved.

Fourth Level: Esteem

This level involves the need for appreciation and self-respect. People want to feel that they’re valued because it boosts their self-esteem.

To satisfy this need, acknowledge their presence and show them how thankful you are for their time. Do this from time to time during your presentation to make them feel important.

Fifth Level: Self-Actualization

Motivate people by challenging them to take possible action. This feeds on their need to show that they’re capable of accomplishments.

End with a powerful call-to-action slide and statement to convince them that you believe in their potentials.

Conclusion

These five levels motivate your audience to learn from your presentation. Think about how your topic relates to your audience’s concerns to guide you when you start crafting your pitch. This gives you an idea how to meet their needs.

Knowing how to satisfy their physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization needs let you effectively interact with your audience. If they feel like you care about them, then they’ll care about you and what you have to say.

Successfully fulfilling each need encourages your audience to take action as they realize that they’re capable of achieving particular endeavors. This becomes your edge to producing a powerful and effective presentation.

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References

4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For.” SlideGenius, Inc. Accessed June 25, 2015.
Motivating Listeners.” Boundless. Accessed June 25, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Quick Steps to Audience Engagement.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 16, 2014. Accessed June 25, 2015.
Sellnow, Deanna D. Confident Public Speaking. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005.

Alan Monroe’s Motivational Sequence in Sales Presentations

Monroe’s motivational sequence is a powerful speech writing technique based on the power of persuasion and developed in the 1930s by Alan Monroe, a college professor at Purdue University.

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Presenters should focus on their audiences. Since people avoid discomfort once they encounter a particular problem, they’ll be convinced to take action that will solve that issue.

Monroe’s Motivational Sequence

The objective of a sales pitch is to compel clients to make purchase decisions.

As a presenter, you should answer answer their questions: “Why am I here?” and “What’s in it for me?”

If they don’t see why your proposal is important, they won’t bother to listen. This makes your introduction the most crucial part of your sales presentations. It’s where you hook your audience and keep them interested.

Here are five stages Monroe suggested to making audiences act on unresolved issues:

First Stage: Get Attention

How will you convince them to pay attention?

Getting your audience’s attention is the first step in motivating them. Storytelling achieves this by providing them with stories that pique their interest.

Explain the importance of having them as your audience. Include humorous stories, questions, and quotations to connect with them, giving them a reason to stay and listen.

Second Stage: Establish the Need

How will you address a problem that needs solving?

Stating and emphasizing the issue points out the discomfort and dissatisfaction it brings. Use statistics to illustrate how this can affect them. Appeal to your audience’s emotions to connect with them.

After this, they’ll start looking for a solution.

Third Stage: Satisfy the Need

How will you offer the solution?

Provide them with concrete solutions to address the issues. Avoid confusing and misleading technical terms to keep them from misinterpreting what you mean.

Explain and clarify each of your solution’s supporting details to show their importance.

Fourth Stage: Visualize the Future

How will you show the positive effects of applying this solution?

Contrast the problem against your solution to illustrate the difference between the positive and negative outcomes. What happens if you apply this solution? What happens if you don’t?

Create a picture of both to convince your audience to follow your advice and take action.

Fifth Stage: Inspire Action

How will you move them to act now?

Return to your message’s main idea to remind them of its impact. Create a sense of urgency that challenges and drives them to act immediately.

Tell them to quit delaying the problem. Reiterate the reasons why they should do it and how it can be done.

Conclusion

Monroe’s motivational sequence convinces your audiences to take action by getting their attention, making them stay and listen to what you have to say.

Establish their need for a solution to stop the issue. Satisfy them with clearer and easier-to-understand solutions. Help them visualize how their decision affects their future, and inspire them to act now.

This sequence increases your chances of persuading your audience enough to make them take action.

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References

Barker, Alan. “Five Steps to Action: Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.” Distributed Intelligence. Accessed June 23, 2015.
Why Storytelling Is an Effective Presentation Technique.” SlideGenius, Inc.. September 8, 2014. Accessed June 23, 2015.

Tips for Expressing Natural Body Language in Presentations

The fear of public speaking is a common obstacle that hinders you from delivering effective presentations. It affects your communication skills, making you more conscious of your words and your actions.

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Exuding a confident and relaxed image is important when presenting to a crowd. According to presentation trainer Olivia Mitchell, however, speaking with confidence doesn’t only involve your pitching skills, but also your body language.

Below are tips for best expressing natural body language during your presentations:

Pace Yourself

Walking and speaking at a slower pace allow you to move calmly.

Slower movements make it easier for you to get something across without looking nervous.

They prevent you from expressing boring and unnecessary body language like scratching your face, looking at the floor, and rocking back and forth, which can seriously undermine your speech and distract your audience.

Space Everything Evenly

The amount of space on your presentation stage is as important as white space in your presentation slide.

But unlike white space, you need to fill in the spaces of the stage with your movement. Don’t stand stiffly in the center. This creates a disconnect between you and your listeners.

Showing your audience that you’re comfortable in the spotlight builds up spontaneous movement and gestures.

Free Your Hands

You can’t naturally express nonverbal cues if your hands aren’t free.

Keeping them in your pockets, holding them behind your back, and folding them across your chest hinder you from making actions that complement your presentation idea.

The most natural hand position is hanging them loosely at your sides. This gives you total freedom to move them for emphasizing points or interacting with your audience.

Relax Your Shoulders

Your business presentation is an extension of your company, just as your hands are connected to your shoulders.

All those hand and finger motions are expressed gently and naturally if your shoulders are relaxed.

Maintain a professional stance that keeps the shoulders back, your head up, and hands up front to convey confidence, reinforce your message, and engage your audience.

Conclusion

Body language communicates assertiveness, appreciation, sincerity, and more.

Using nonverbal cues appropriately isn’t enough in presentations. They should also appear natural to mark an amazing speaking presence.

Need assistance with your PowerPoint presentation slides? Contact SlideGenius and we’ll help you start your deck ASAP.

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References

Public Speaking Anxiety: Facts, Stats, and Methods to Beat It.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed June 11, 2015.
The 5-step Cure for Boring Body Language.” Speaking about Presenting. Accessed June 11, 2015.

4 Components for Planning Speeches Like Presentation Experts

According to communicologist Eugene White (1960), there are four interrelated components for presentations: speaker, speech, audience, and occasion. These help presentation experts plan their PowerPoint content and assist speakers with their actual discussion.

It’s hard to talk about these principles in the order you should tackle them. That’s why the concepts speak for interrelationship or connecting one to another.

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Determine as much as you can from each factor to focus your speech and make you sound more credible and convincing.

The Speaker

Think of yourself as a speaker. Do you talk fast or slow? Do you use a lot of technical terms? Do you find it easy to get along with people you’ve just met?

Before preparing a deck outline or storyboard, examine yourself. Familiarize yourself with your strengths and weaknesses; focus on finding your comfort zone to decide which parts should be best highlighted or discussed in a more in-depth manner.

Knowing yourself lets you set your presentation’s direction. If you’re more outgoing, start with a good joke. If you’re more to the point, begin with a poignant statistic.

The Speech

The language you use should fit your audience and the occasion. Imagine speaking about the common cold to a group composed only of children. Would you use terms lifted straight from a medical textbook? Your choice of words in slides and speech decides if you’ll be seen as boring and uninspired or interesting and rousing.

Once you have information on the other factors, adjust the amount of time you spend per slide. This affects your flow greatly, and also relies on what you can learn regarding the two remaining factors.

The Audience

Check up on your audience to identify important details you’ll need in your presentation.

These can include age, gender, number, educational background, group affiliation, nationality, and culture. These factors let you determine your approach’s formality and technicality.

You can determine a lot of things from simply checking up on your audience. Finding out audience size also lets you decide how intimate you should be with your presentation.

A larger audience will have to need a broader approach. Be aware of local cultural norms to avoid embarrassing situations that ruin your credibility.

The Occasion

Knowing the occasion narrows down your speech’s objectives. Know the event’s basic nature, time, and venue.  The event’s nature clues you in on the goals you’ll set for yourself.

The engagement’s actual starting and allotted time decides your speech and deck length. Be conscious of recent events, use good news, and avoid referencing recent tragedies.

Knowing the venue also clues you in on how formal your speech should be. How you dress up in a hotel function room is different from how you would in a smaller auditorium.

Interrelatedness may seem difficult, but simply writing plans on a piece of paper sets you on the right track. Getting everything down sets your presentation’s tone, purpose, formality, and its overall message.

It’s easy to understand and even easier to get right. If you’re looking for people who can get it done right away, then our PowerPoint experts are ready to help.

Contact SlideGenius now and get a free quote!

SlideGenius Blog Module One

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References

Presentation Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Credibility.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed June 3, 2015.
Public Speaking: The Basics.” Speaking in the Disciplines. Accessed June 3, 2015.
What Kind of Voice Do You Have.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2013. Accessed June 3, 2015.
White, Eugene. Practical Speech Fundamentals. New York: The McMillan Co, 1960.