How many times have you sat through a presentation where the speaker begins by stating how excited he / she is to share this information with you?
And how many times have you observed that the words simply do not match the message?
No matter how much effort we put into crafting our presentations, if we are unable to match your body language and tone of voice with the message we are conveying, we are not going to convince anyone.
Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, is famous for publishing studies that prove that your audience pays far more attention to your body language and tone of voice than the actual content of your verbal communication, so much in fact that it is estimated that only 7% of the message conveyed by verbal content is noted!
And the sad reality is that you cannot fake body language, just think of that fake smile and how it makes you feel to be on the receiving end!
So if we can’t fake it, then how can we do something about our non verbal queues – or ‘paralinguistics’ that often say so much more than we do.
Anthony Robbins conducts worldclass motivational speaking sessions, and his secret involves jumping on a trampoline immediately before walking on to stage so that his high energy levels are visible. Taking a trampoline along with you for office presentations is not going to work so well in the corporate world though.
Our task as presenters is to ensure there is a congruence between the message we are conveying and the way in which we are conveying it. When you crafted your presentation, did you believe in your message? If not, then perhaps you need to find another angle.
If you really believe in your message, then sink into the emotions that you feel about the message. Feel them. The more you can feel it, the more you can convey this to your audience. Remember audiences are naturally empathic and will mimic your emotional state, so the more excited and motivated you are, the more excited and motivated they will be!
Presenting requires so much more from you than merely running through the slides on your laptop. Presenting requires you to be authentically human in front of your audience. So practice as much as you can before the time, but focus not only on the technical presentation aspects, but also on how you feel about your content. Nobody likes a fake message, nobody will respond to insincerity.
Emotions have immense power, use them!
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