Even the most brilliant movie script can be ruined if it’s delivered poorly by the lead actor. The fact is the delivery is just as important as the story itself. The same is true when it comes to presentations. Compelling information and interesting statistics are critical components of your presentation, but you can’t rely on the content alone for an incredible presentation. Just as important is the way it is delivered. Great presenters have the ability to take mediocre content and turn it into something exceptional by sheer presence alone. The most effective presentations are a combination of content and presenter. The presenter is the one who brings the words on a screen to life in a way that connects with the audience. As a presenter, it is important to establish presence with your audience if you want them to connect with your message. The following tips will help you develop and add presence to your presentation to ensure that you deliver more than just information…but a memorable experience.
Use Confident Body Language
What you do is just as important as what you say. Think about a time when you attended a presentation where the presenter nervously walked on stage, awkwardly crossing their arms, and constantly fidgeting throughout the entire presentation. Chances are you quit paying attention within the first minute or two because it was painful to watch and you probably figured “what could this person possibly know that I don’t already?” Now, contrast that with a time when you attended a presentation where the presenter owned the stage, made eye contact, and spoke with confidence. They may have had no clue what they were talking about but you automatically bought it anyway. The truth is body language makes you appear confident and credible, so make direct eye contact, make use of the entire stage, and project your voice. Your body language is a huge part of making you appear strong and competent.
Look the Part
There is no doubt about it…when you look good you feel good. When you are giving a presentation you are in the spotlight. Therefore, wear something that is appropriately fashionable. You wouldn’t give a presentation to your executives in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Rather, you would take time to select an outfit that looks professional. The same is true when giving any presentation. If you want to be convincing you have to look convincing. Make sure you choose something that is both professional and comfortable.
So often work presentations are rigid and serious…and this makes them seriously boring! Get creative and find a way to connect with your audience. Tell them a personal story or show them an interesting photograph that they could relate to. Engage with your audience on a personal level to get them on your side right from the start. They will appreciate your authenticity and they will enjoy the lighthearted approach.
Use Your Voice
Believe it or not your voice alone can have a drastic impact on your overall presentation. Someone who talks with a quivery voice that is nervous and monotone will get a completely different reaction than someone who projects their voice with confidence. Use inflection and speak with passion, energy, and enthusiasm. You will instantly appear confident, credible, and much more interesting to audiences.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Before stepping on stage fill your mind with positive thoughts. Imagine yourself giving the presentation of a lifetime where the audience is engaged, laughing, and loving every minute of it. Positive thinking will help you project a positive energy and you will be able to focus on enjoying the moment to share with the audience as opposed to worrying what people will be thinking. In reality, most people really are there to learn something so they will appreciate your energy and positivity.