The skills and the tools needed for a well-tuned presentation are in your reach. The realities are we all have to work to polish these skills. The better prepared you are, the better you use your tools, the more effective you’ll be in your presentations. Below are the remaining tools you already have in your tool box:
- Posture: Your posture is an important part of body language. Stand or sit straight with your shoulders back and your head held high. Look confident and comfortable. If you’re standing, have an open posture and face your listener. Don’t slouch or lean. Use the posture your mother was always reminding you to use.
- Gestures: Use all your body. Be expressive. Gestures are to speaking what punctuation marks are to writing. Used sparingly, they add clarity and emphasis to the message. Overused, they can be distracting to the listener.
- Voice: Think of your voice as an instrument, capable of hitting high notes, low notes and all the notes in between. You can speak loudly or softly, quickly or slowly. You can pause at appropriate times. The most important thing to remember is not to speak in a monotone style. Remember this scene; Bueller, Bueller, Bueller…
- Artifacts: What you wear and how you appear states your credibility. Clothes, jewelry, hair, etc. Compliment your listener by what you wear. Let your clothes communicate that you think they are worth getting dressed up for. Besides, if you feel that you look your best, you’ll be more confident and confidence will make you look and feel better when you speak.
- Ears: This may be your most important and least used tool. By listening, you just might learn something.
To learn how to use the tools better, watch the different hosts on entertainment shows like E News! and Entertainment Tonight. Watch their posture and the gestures they use. Listen to their vocal variety and pay attention to how they dress. They’re a great source to watch and learn from.
In the next blog, we’ll go over your style.
Through the fall Gary will continue his blog series on the Art of Telling. He believes that speaking skills are required and acquirable for today’s business professional. The purpose of the Art of Telling blog series is to enable readers to develop the communication and presentation skills that will serve them a lifetime. Click here to see more on Gary’s Art of Telling programs and seminars.