How to Be a Convincing Presenter: Five Tips
Audiences will generally critique a speech using three different criteria which all center on how convincing a speaker appears, describes Garr Reynolds in his bestseller, “Zen and the Art of Presentation.” We have summarized five points to help you become a convincing presenter.
Establishing a connection with your audience allows your content make its way into their heads. There are three characteristics that help you gain rapport with them:
– Your appearance
– Your movements
– Your voice
Based on this judgment basis, Reynolds gives helpful tips on how to best present yourself.
1. Appropriate Attire
How are you supposed to dress for your presentation? The rule of thumb here is to dress formal and businesslike. Sure, the clothes must fit the organization and the occasion, but generally speaking, over-dressing is better than under-dressing. A formal appearance in a business suit can be easily mitigated, as for example dropping the jacket. However, too casual of an outfit is difficult to pep-up.
2. Move with Purpose
When possible, avoid standing in one spot. It is better to slowly walk with an upright posture to various points of the room or stage. Remain standing to illustrate a particular point. Then, walk to another part of the stage and lead the audience into the next argument. When standing, let your feet be comfortable and at the same time firm, shoulder width apart. Keep to slow movements and convey a relaxed, natural image.
3. Look at your Audience
Always focus your gaze on the audience. Even if you show the screen, be positioned so your shoulders are pointing in the direction of the audience. Then, if you briefly look at the screen, you will automatically turn your head back to the audience because your shoulders are facing forward.
4. Maintain eye contact
Keep eye contact with your audience. Try not to read off the script and notes – it will complicate the eye contact with your listeners and make you appear insecure and unprepared. With a larger audience, pick out single individuals spread over the room, even in the back, who you can make eye contact with during the presentation. The person sitting right next to the one you are looking at will get the impression that you are looking at them as well.
5. Energetic voice
If you are excited about the topic you are presenting, your audience will hear the enthusiasm in your tone of voice and will get hooked. Both mumbling and yelling is a no-go. While you leave a shy impression with mumbling, which leads to not being understood, yelling will destroy your intonation. With a presentation attended by more than 50 people in a large event room, you should use a microphone. To make sure you’ll be well heard, it is recommendable to use a headband or headset microphone. The top of the microphone is right beside your mouth and will rarely be noticed by the audience.We hope these tips help you convince your audience of your message and wish you good luck for your next performance.