Body Language and Presentation Tips for Beginners
How you present yourself through body language can make or break your presentation before you even utter your first word. The moment you enter the room or step onto the stage, your audience will already have an idea of what’s in store for them. And from that, they will already make the decision to either sit back and be bored or keep their eyes peeled for what’s in store. This is why as a presenter, it’s important for you to understand body language and capitalize on it to round up your beautiful presentations. The following presentation tips are especially useful if you’re just beginning as a presenter and are still learning the ropes. These body language and presentation tips can help you not just gain confidence but also gain ground in public speaking and presenting.
Appearance and Impression Says a Lot
The first thing you should know is that, despite what cliches tell us, people judge us on appearance. The first 10 seconds of meeting someone, we can already form our opinion of another person. As a presenter, you have to prepare to make that good, if not exceptional, first impression.
You have to dress smartly and dress for the occasion. Choose clothes that bring out your best qualities while still being comfortable. Still, be sure to look the part. If you’re going to a formal event, keep those jeans and sneakers in the closet. If you’re going to talk to millennials, then you better dress like you belong.
Also, look at your posture. Avoid slouching, as this conveys a lack of confidence. Keep your back straight, but not too straight as to look rigid. Remember to relax, but be purposeful about your actions. Walk with purpose, and find the right balance between being confident without being cocky, relatable but still credible. While this may be quite a tall order, you have to read through the rest of the tips to learn how to do these things.
Relate to Your Audience
As a presenter, it’s your job to draw your audience into your topic or message. While the stage or podium can seem as a barrier between you or your audience, you can still reach out to them. You can do this with a simple gesture: smile.
A simple gesture such as a smile can make you appear confident and enthusiastic. Your audience will feel at ease and comfortable. And when you greet your audience with a smile and they smile back, that just shows that you have them looking and listening to you, which is a good thing.
Aside from smiling, you should also remember another important thing, which is eye contact. This is crucial when it comes to connecting with your audience and holding people’s attention. You can also easily see if they are paying attention to you. Just by looking at members of your audience from time to time and making eye contact with them, you can get a feel of how your audience is doing and therefore adjust the pace of your presentation or speech. You can also go ahead and ask members of your audience if they can hear you clearly, if necessary.
Another of the many effective presentation tips is the use of silence. Small, subtle pauses or even complete stops for silence can lend gravity and power to your speech and presentation. You can emphasize a point not just by shouting or saying it loudly, but also with the use of silence. Just remember not to leave long pauses throughout your presentation, as this so-called “dead air” can distract your audience. You should also remember to speak clearly and in a well-modulated voice.
Your Sincerity and Enthusiasm can be Felt by Your Audience
Avoid the trap of reading your presentation off your slides. Channel enthusiasm by naturally talking about your topic. This can only happen if you have studied or researched your topic extensively. By being unscripted, you can be natural, and this is refreshing and interesting to your audience. Furthermore, you can use humor to add more levity to your presentation. You can even inject anecdotes to make you more relatable and interesting. And while doing these, be sure to walk around the stage and gesture naturally with your hands. Avoid being still in one spot, as this can be boring.
If talking without a script can be daunting for beginners like you, you can practice at home. Stand in front of the mirror and start your presentation. And remember, as you present more and more using the presentation tips we have shared, you will become better and better. So keep doing it and keep learning.