6 Ways To Improve Your Non-Verbal Communication During Presentations
Body language and non-verbal communication are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different things. Body language refers to the movements of your body, while non-verbal communication refers to all of the other signals you send out to others with your tone of voice, facial expressions, and physical behaviors like hand gestures and posture. When it comes to presenting, improving your non-verbal communication can help you connect with your audience, improve their opinion of you, motivate them, and convince them that you are trustworthy and competent. Follow these tips to improve your non-verbal communication during presentations.
1. Dress For Success
Studies have shown that what we wear affects how people perceive us, and it’s true: Wearing professional attire, like a business suit or at least slacks and a blouse, helps you feel more confident. Dress up, but don’t overdo it—you want to look respectful and formal while still being approachable. Remember: You can adjust your outfit as needed depending on your audience. Are they outside? No need for a coat and tie! It’s all about finding a balance between feeling comfortable and looking polished.
2. Get On The Same Page
The most important thing you can do when giving a presentation is establish good communication with your audience. You’re not just talking to a group of people, you’re playing music together (or dancing, if that metaphor works better for you). The more in sync you are, rhythmically and tonally, with your audience, the better they will follow your lead. If there’s something specific about your organization or industry that might be confusing to outsiders, take some time beforehand to explain it so everyone knows what the lingo means.
3. Look Natural, Be Natural
It’s important to establish a connection with your audience—after all, they will be more inclined to trust you and even buy what you’re selling if they feel you’re being authentic. But don’t forget to be genuine in your enthusiasm: smiling will come more naturally if you actually mean it, so work on looking and feeling excited about what you have to say. A major part of establishing rapport is adapting your tone of voice and body language as best as possible for an interactive presentation.
4. Keep Moving
What good is sitting at your desk to give a presentation if you’re fidgeting with your pen or paper? Don’t just stand there when you talk—move around. Make eye contact with as many people in your audience as possible, move around and approach different parts of your stage. The more active you are during your presentation, the more engaged people will be in what you have to say.
5. Watch the Audience
When you’re delivering a presentation, try to keep track of who’s looking at you and who isn’t. Are they interacting with your content? If not, do they look disengaged or confused? Are they interested in what you have to say or would they rather be watching cat videos on YouTube? Adjust your language and tone accordingly.
6. Eye Contact Works
If your gaze is always focused on something other than your audience, they may feel that you are not paying attention to them. Making eye contact with members of your audience shows them that you are engaged in what they have to say. Eye contact also communicates respect; without it, you run the risk of coming across as arrogant or disinterested.
The biggest takeaway from our discussion is that great nonverbal communication and presentation skills go hand in hand. Interactive presentations are remembered more than lectures, more information is retained, and audience members retain their attention for longer. These days, there are so many interactive tools at our disposal to improve our presentations; all it takes is a little research and practice to deliver powerful presentations every time!
Robert is a professional moderator, presenter and speaker coach. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and works for a broad range of industries. He has interviewed ministers, captains of industry and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With it, an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in comments to speakers and panels on stage. As such, events turn into lively dialogues with everyone being able to speak up!