Presenting is a crucial skill.
And it is becoming more important.
An increasing amount of companies work in an Agile environment, in which presentations happen on a daily basis.
Let’s consider 3 common issues for each of the three V’s of communication.
If you don’t keep the attention of the group, people doze off and will forget about your words right away.
If your intonation is off, the team is not convinced when you verbalize your brilliant idea.
If you have closed body language, others are less likely to involve you in that interesting side project.
Now I will show you pictures that represent solutions to these 3 problems.
1) VERBAL: Keep the rope tight
Usually people are excited about the beginning of a presentation. What will this be about?
And then, when the presenter gets to the core, the audience people start to wonder. What will I have for dinner tonight? Curry? Oh no, that’s what I had on Tuesday. Let’s do pasta.
Once the conclusion of the talk is approaching, people will pay more attention.
How can you keep the rope tight?
Yes, you can do so by pushing the poles to the side. However, making your presentation longer is rarely a good idea.
Keep the row tight by adding poles throughout your presentation to grab the attention of your audience. Say something unexpected, ask a question, or do a short recap of the section.
2) VOCAL: End on a low
Research has shown that most listeners prefer a deep voice over a high pitched voice – isn’t Morgan Freeman great? But that is not all. Especially the last part of the sentence makes a big impact.
There are many people who end their sentences on a high tone. It sounds like there is a question mark behind each sentence. It feels like the person is not sure what he or she is saying.
Try it out loud and feel what it’s like.
Now try to speak like this: lower your tone at the end of your sentence. Combine it with a pause at the end and your words will have much power.
3) VISUAL: Show your palms and be trusted
Firstly, we are wired to look out for danger. A guy with hands that are not visible? Don’t trust him. He may carry a weapon.
Secondly, if you protect your vital organs with your hands or arms, you are subconsciously signalling to others that you don’t feel safe and confident in the situation.
These two reasons combined explain why open body language, with your palms facing the audience, sparks so much trust in the people listening to you.
Reading is good, practicing is better
These are all tips that could help you, not just when you give a presentation for a group.
If you implement these, you will notice that you will also improve at connecting with others in a regular conversation.