An often quoted communication study done by Dr. Albert Mehrabian, revealed that 93% of our communication impact comes from the WAY we deliver our words. If this is the case, AND every single day we have the opportunity to present ourselves and our ideas to others, than we cannot underestimate the importance of strong presentation skills.
Here are a few things to consider….
Your Eyes. Be sure to connect with your audience. When answering a question, address the person directly, make eye contact while making a specific point. When used naturally it communicates to the audience that you are engaged, that you care and it can create a level of intimacy even with a larger audience.
Your Hands. Use your hands for emphasis not distraction. Most of us can recall a speaker with the nervous habit of jingling coins in their pocket, twirling a pen, or playing with a laser pointer. Instead stand tall, use your hands with purpose to illustrate comparisons or make key points, and when not gesturing keep your hands at your side in a relaxed position.
Your Voice. We have all experienced speakers that were monotone and droned on, losing their audience. Try increasing your vocal range. By telling a story, using a joke, smiling, or asking questions throughout your presentation you will naturally change the speed, dimension and range of your voice.
Your Feet. Moving with purpose during your presentation demonstrates confidence. When answering questions move toward the person you are addressing and speak directly to them. Deliberately moving from one side of the room to the other allows you to engage more of the audience and keeps their attention. Use your feet to ‘own the room’.
Last but not least – practice, practice, practice. When you practice, be sure to practice how you will use the physical space, the inflections you will use to emphasis points, practice the stories you will use, and look for opportunities to engage your audience.
YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Pay attention to the 93%. When listening to others speak, notice the WAY the information is presented. When you are doing the speaking, take note of your eyes, hand, voice and feet!