That’s you! Like it or not if you are giving a presentation you will be judged. Many of the hints and tips in this book are aimed at improving how you will be judged. Helping you to overcome any fear/nervousness and turn it to your advantage by using the energy generated by the adrenaline to add more power to your presentation.
The biggest factor in your success as a speaker is your confidence. If you are confident you will come across far better than if you are timid and nervous. As perception is far more important than reality, looking confident can mask an awful lot of nerves that are bubbling up under the surface. The aim is to look like a swan gracefully gliding across the top of the water, keeping the feet, which are paddling like mad, hidden from view. Like the majestic swan, how you look and how you dress are very important in instilling that confidence in yourself and in your audience.
Look out of place because of the way you are dressed and it will affect how well your message is taken. Although many businesses have a dress down policy these days, if you are presenting to a business audience it is usually advisably for a man to wear a suit and tie and a lady to wear a suit or similar business attire. Shoes should also be polished, as it is surprising what assumptions are still made about a person in business, based on the state of their footwear.
When you are addressing a group of factory workers who are all dressed in overalls and you want to influence their behaviour, then a more casual appearance may be beneficial. You may want to appear less like one of the managers and more like one of the team. Every situation is different but there is never an excuse for not worrying about it.
By wearing clothes that make you feel good, it will help to boost your confidence.
Looking good is just part of it you also need to sound good. This means three things:
- Speaking loudly enough so that people can hear what you are saying.
- Speaking clearly enough so people can understand the words that you are saying
- Omitting unnecessary words, grunts and groans.
When you are projecting your voice, you use your diaphragm. This is completely different from shouting, which is achieved through muscles in your neck. It should not hurt to project your voice unlike it does if you shout too much.
Presentation Training and Coaching is available from the author of this blog. Please visit my presentation training website.
Give me a day and I’ll change your presentations, forever