Body Language and Presentation Skills

When it comes to giving a presentation remember that the best audio visual aid is you. There are 10 key things you should be doing:

1. Maintain eye contact with the audience and scan the audience at random. Never repeatedly look at the multi-media screen or the ceiling!

2. Use your hands and voice to conduct the presentation, remember palms up indicates uncertainty, honesty and doubt, whilst palm down indicates facts and certainty.

3. Repeat key phrases to add emphasis. If you have three major points to say then number them – “point one is…..point two is…point three is… I have covered the three points.”

4. Use the visual aids to structure your presentation. Just put key words on the screen, it will prevent you just reading what is on the screen.

5. Do not march from one side of the stage to the next or fiddle with pens and equipment. Be animated, which does not mean hands in your pockets!

6. Show enthusiasm in the way you present information – enthusiasm is infectious.

7. If it is a long presentation then break it up with questions or pass round examples of products to get a small measure of audience involvement.

8. Take note of any negative body language in the audience, arms folded, eyes down, shaking heads etc

9. Avoid being distracted by individuals in the audience, the one critical member, or the person who enthusiastically agrees with you by their head nods and smiles. Remember to address the whole audience.

10. Encourage convergence of opinion; look out for subgroups of those that share a common view. Do not disagree but aim to get some form of consensus.

Posted on: November 19, 2012

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Featured Author

Sue Stockdale and Clive Steeper

Sue Stockdale is an executive coach and leadership specialist. She has designed and delivered hundreds of workshops on motivation, performance, leadership, people development and change and is highly experienced at understanding personality in business environments. Clive Steeper is a business consultant, facilitator and coach whose work has included business improvement and cultural change programmes, executive search and selection, facilitation, interim management and coaching.

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