From Awesome to Awful!
“Prasoon’s been brilliant in academic performance. He has nothing less than 95 percent in Computer Networks and Embedded Systems. But his presentations are awful. I wonder why on earth he hurries through the presentation?!”
“Monica intonates well. She is very good at her subject but why does she look at the ceiling time and again while presenting?”
“Husain’s hold on the topic being presented is awesome. But the way he moves to and fro time and again irritates me. I feel like getting up and walking away!”
Carrying oneself gracefully while being professional is an art. Body language has now emerged as a discipline that trains you on well-articulated body movements. Not being aware of these well-defined body movements might land you into big troubles.
Bigger than you could imagine. You might become so conscious of yourself that your body movements start becoming awkward. Instead of being an effective presenter, you will soon turn out to be a comedian.
You are not born with the knowledge of body language. You need to learn it. If you are unable to do that while presenting you can at least learn from the experts. It is just a matter of a few minutes.
Once you know what is that the audience expects from you and act accordingly, you are half way through! Here are a few body language gestures/postures that you need to be in while presenting.
Intonate properly while making a presentation: The goal of any presentation is to ‘inform’ the audience. They have not come to listen to things that they already know. While informing see to it that you ‘intonate’ properly. Keep the ‘pitch’ of your voice in moderate frequency. Remember screaming destroys the interest of the audience.
Do not tranquilize your audience with an overdose of slides: Five to Six that too very important points and facts need to be displayed as slides to your audience. Some people seek refuge by showing slide after slide. This way they escape from the ‘speech’ part of the presentation, showing the audience only their back! A presentation like this could be labeled ‘clumsy’.
Introduces pauses and smiles in your presentation: Do not go on and on while making a presentation. Introduce pauses, stop for a while, smile at the audience, bring an anecdote and then move on. This will relax you too.
Stand in a relaxed way while presenting: Relax totally before you begin the presentation. Say to yourself that you are confident and congenial. Do not walk to and fro barging into the audience. This will distract their attention. A knowledgeable few will instantly realize that you are not confident.
Open arm posture: While standing to keep your legs a little apart. Not so far that the audience might feel embarrassed. Women may keep their legs comfortably close. Keep the arms loose and open the palms in a way that they face the roof. This shows that you are confident and if you are not it induces confidence in you.
- Do not stand tight. Legs very close. You would feel like a pillar. Tension builds within you.
- Do not keep setting your hair, mustache. Do not rub your chin, nose or scratch your ear while making a presentation.
- Do not shake yourself all the time while standing at a place stiffly. The audience may feel that you are dancing.
- Do not rest your palms on your hips. This might show that you are overconfident.
- Do not turn your back and keep scribbling something on the board. This is once again an escapist strategy. Face the audience confidently. They are your friends. Show them the facts on a board only when essential.
Eye Contact: Look at all the audience while speaking. Do not stare at one particular person as that may be quite embarrassing. Eye contact with ALL is a must. Imagine the letter ‘W’, that’s how your glances should move across the audience.
- Do not look at the ceiling while presenting. Do not keep looking at a bunch of papers you are holding. All these things spoil the presentation.
- Do not look at some inanimate object while presenting. Something like the door, tube light etc. Do not look at the floor. This is equally bad!
Seek feedback: Be courteous enough to know the ‘value’ of your presentation. Ask the audience courteously if they have any query. Tell them to write on a paper and give their opinion on the presentation. Provide them with proper feedback forms.
- Do not wear an aggressive look. Do not look angry. Be calm, polite and always wear a smile on the face.
- Listen to the audience queries properly. Don’t start answering even before they finished the question.
Power Dressing: Wear a color that suits you. See that the clothes you are wearing are properly ironed. Do not wear jazzy, bright colors with dark floral patterns. This will for sure distract the attention of the audience. Wear something that is comfortable not something that is very tight and makes you feel uncomfortable all through the presentation.
Keep yourself well groomed always and even more on the day of the presentation. Men should wear complementary footwear and women better clip their toenails properly. It’s better for women not to exhibit their jewelry on the eve of the presentation.
I hope you will now keep in mind these body language fundamentals. Stay tuned to our site for we will be coming up with more on this.