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Perfecting Your Choreography for Professional Presentations

For performers, choreography combines proper body movements, positioning, and timing to elevate their act. Dancers rehearse their performance by familiarizing themselves with corresponding dance steps. Visiting the venue helps them experience the actual feeling for the live show.

Stage players also do this by matching their lines with appropriate body movements and gestures to engage the audience. They rehearse in the venue to arrange the setup, make minor adjustments, and be comfortable with the blocking and placement. Similarly, perfecting your movements can help you improve your pitch delivery, boosting your convincing ability.

Choreograph Your Pitch

Since choreography relates to physical space between the speaker and the audience, this is where the four spatial zones (intimate, personal, social, and public) take place.

  • Intimate space covers a foot and a half to zero, and is usually reserved for significant others.
  • Personal space ranges from four feet to a foot and a half – the right amount for close friends.
  • Social space spans twelve feet to four feet. This is sufficient for large gatherings and social functions.
  • Public space goes beyond twelve feet. As the name suggests, is best for public speaking.

As a presenter, you don’t have to stay within the public space all the time. Audience interest increases the closer you move to them.

Activate Your Audience’s Mirror Neurons

Interacting with a large audience is possible thanks to mirror neurons. As author Vicki Kunkel defines in her book, Instant Appeal, a mirror neuron allows people to experience the same feeling when observing others, mirroring their behavior as if they’re in the same situation.

Communications expert Nick Morgan suggests this technique when you’re in a crowd of 500 people have no room or time to engage each of them. In this case, you can connect freely with your audience by moving towards chosen audience members.

Kunkel cites Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker, who knows this technique by heart. When telling a story, he’s able to make his audiences feel that they’re actually on the same occasion. He also uses typical stage areas when making and emphasizing a point. For example, when he describes an event or a situation, he stays in one location. He transfers to another position when he tackles another issue or topic.

This makes the performance more chronological and understandable, where audiences can easily follow. Let’s take a look at some room setups which you can best maximize to your advantage:

1. U-Shape Setup

This setting lets you engage your audience at the center, then walk towards them at some part of your speech.

Be careful not to show your back to some audience members. Eye contact shouldn’t be discarded since it contributes to your connection with the audience.

2. Classroom Setup

This style depends on the number of aisles in a classroom. If it has only one, you can walk through to move closer to some of your listeners in the middle. In this case, you interact more with the people sitting in front.

If there’s no aisle, stay in front and proceed with your pitch. Compensate with your body language to emphasize your points, and you’ll still connect with them.

3. Auditorium Setup

If you’ll be giving your speech in an auditorium, it’s advisable to practice in the actual venue more than once. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the area, and think of best strategies to engage the audience. A venue this large gives you more chances to maximize the stage.

Let your audience know your desire to connect with them by supporting your pitch with the right body language.

In Conclusion

Choreographing your presentation helps you maximize space and grab attention. Meanwhile, activating your audience’s mirror neurons through body language provides an emphatic and emotional connection.

Lastly, familiarizing yourself with the different room styles engages audiences more effectively for impactful professional presentations. Plan your pitch like a stage performance to get the best out of any public speaking opportunity.

To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!

 

References

Morgan, Nick. “How to Choreograph Your Presentation.” Forbes. April 11, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2015. www.forbes.com
Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.

 

Featured Image: “Poly Prep – Afternoon of Student Choreography” by Steven Pisano on flickr.com.

4 Sales Presentation Techniques from Harvard Business Review

To sell effectively, make your clients listen to you and give you their undivided attention.

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Developing a commanding stage presence is a vital skill for every presenter. Some presenters may be energetic enough to gradually build the hype needed to sell while others have engaging stories to tell.

With a well-developed stage presence, presenters connect with their audiences and form strong relationships with them through their well-crafted speeches and PowerPoint presentations.

This is useful when doing sales presentations.

Harvard Business Review Press (2010) recommends four steps to achieve this:

1. Define Your Communication Style

The first step to developing your stage presence is to define your own communication style.

  • Are you a storyteller?
  • Do you prefer to start with the current situation, then introduce something to change it?
  • Or do you want to spend a few minutes to get to know your audience first?

Whether you want to make an energetic presentation or employ cool, quiet confidence, know which approach you are more comfortable with and stick with that.

2. Focus on the Presentation

You may be physically present in the conference room, but it’s more important to be mentally and emotionally focused on the people and task at hand.

This is the basis of the saying “putting yourself into what you’re doing.” According to speech trainer Michelle Mazur, focusing on your presentation means stepping outside your personal sales goals, and pitching something that would benefit your prospects.

Doing this gives your audience the impression that you’re completely interested in connecting with them and offering them something worth listening to and investing in.

3. Use Your Expressions to Your Advantage

Facial expressions, conversational voice tones and body language are all major contributors to making a dominant stage presence, even more so than your verbal content.

If you use your emotions and play to your passions to show that you’re motivated, your audience is more likely to latch on to that feeling and become as interested as you are.

4. Connect with Your Audience

The most important presentation technique is to build a connection with your audience.

Every client has their own set of expectations, and it’s the presenter’s job to meet those. Take time to know who you are presenting to beforehand.

Use stories, metaphors, and appeal to shared beliefs to establish your credibility in front of your clients. Have them trust you to make a convincing sales presentation.

One More Thing: Integrity Matters

As with every business, clients are looking for partners they can trust. They need to find the people who can help them grow and form a long-term business relationship with.

To get the partners you need, give them the impression that you’re a credible partner who’s confident of their ability to help. This depends on how you use your PowerPoint deck to sell yourself.

To get the help you need, take a few minutes to consult with a professional presentation partner to gain that selling advantage.

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References

5 Ways To Make The Audience The Star Of Your Presentation.” Fast Company. January 29, 2015. Accessed June 12, 2015.
A Presentation Expert’s Guide to Knowing the Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 12, 2015.
Guide to Persuasive Presentations. (2010). Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Review Press.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed June 12, 2015.
Why Conversational Tones Work for Corporate Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 12, 2015.