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Part 2: Embrace the most powerful presentation delivery techniques and master a successful presentation delivery style
In Part 1 of this two-part blog, How to ensure you’ve got a presentation structure your audience can follow and presentation slides that support what you say, we covered our top 23 tips on how to structure your presentation with the needs of the audience in mind, and we looked at the role of presentation slides and how to use them to add impact to your presentation and bring your narrative to life.
In part 2, we’re sharing tips 24-49 which concentrate on ways to improve and perfect your presenting: by incorporating the most powerful presentation delivery techniques and mastering how to deliver a good presentation. At SecondNature, we believe in nurturing your unique style so you can be the presenter you want to be. Our approach is tailored, not generic, ensuring your natural authenticity shines through. As you explore these tips, think about integrating them with your personal style. As Oscar Wilde quite rightly said: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” Embrace your individuality as you become the presenter you want to be.
Embrace the most powerful presentation delivery techniques
- Your voice is a powerful instrument, so learn how to use it: ensure your voice is at the correct volume for the room and size of audience; that you utilise voice inflections to emphasise important points; that your pace is easy to follow; and that your enunciation is clear and crisp. You also want to ensure you don’t have a monotone voice, this is often a result of reading, so avoid this at all costs.
- Pause…between sections of your presentation/chapters of your story to create natural variation in your vocal tone and therefore enhance audience engagement. Did you know there are nine key types of pauses?
- As part of your pause, use what we call Drum Roll Words to lead into key messages so that they become amplified. Examples of Drum Roll Words are: ‘The bottom line is that …’; ‘The most important point to remember is …’; ‘Ultimately we know that …’; ‘What’s critical about this is …’.
- Pause…before landing any key message as this will create anticipation in your audience for the message and so add extra impact to the message when it’s delivered. Then pause…after you’ve finished delivering the message so the audience has time to absorb, reflect and internalise the point you want to get across.
- Use pauses…to reduce fillers words like errms and umms, and also to reduce the use of qualifying language such as ‘kind of’, ‘sort of’, ‘basically’ and ‘like’.
- Maintain strong eye connection with your audience unless you’re referring to slides or your notes. 1 to 10 is a good rule to remember i.e. for every 1 second you refer to any visual aid, there should be 10 seconds of eye contact with your audience – and remember, if you’re presenting online, your eye connection should be with the audience through the camera.
- Smile and use facial expressions to show, and bring, emotion to your story. And the good news is that smiling is contagious and makes people feel good.
- Include analogies and metaphors to paint mental pictures for the audience. We all know ‘a picture paints a thousand words’! Analogies and metaphors are also a great way to simplify complex messages and to make them memorable.
- Use confident, open positive body language. No crossed legs, rocking or pacing if you’re standing or chair swinging if you’re sitting. Remember negative non-verbal cues as well as positive ones are easily picked up by the audience.
- Avoid fidgeting with your hands. Instead have an assertive neutral position or use composed gestures to emphasise messages and to add animation to your style.
- If standing, move deliberately and with purpose at relevant points during the presentation. Think about owning the room using the Attention Triangle.
- Involve the audience using Passive, Participative and/or Pointed audience involvement. The more you make them a part of your presentation/story, the more you’ll have their attention!
Embracing these delivery techniques will help you to become a more confident presenter and communicator. But it’s also important to remember that your delivery style should reflect your own personality. Here are our top delivery style tips to consider when presenting so that you can be your best, authentic self.
Mastering a successful presentation delivery style
Make sure you come across as:
- Knowledgeable about the subject and knowing your audience. Research in advance what the audience already knows, what they want to get out of the presentation and the types of questions they might have. The more tailored your presentation to their needs, the more audience engagement you’ll have.
- Credible. Not only should you be knowledgeable about the subject of your presentation and about the audience, you should also be well versed in the topic more broadly including views from different internal stakeholders, as well as external thought leaders; be informed about any recent news to do with the subject; and be clear about your own opinions on the topic.
- Well prepared. Being knowledgeable and credible is not enough! You also need to make sure you practise your presentation sufficiently so that your delivery style is confident and comfortable.
- Confident and self-assured, but never cocky or arrogant.
- Comfortable and relaxed. Practise moving around the meeting room or stage and changing positions at key points during the presentation. And in case you didn’t know, movement is also the best way to release tension and reduce presentation nerves. Just remember to ensure it’s controlled movement during your presentation, you don’t want to be fast moving or pacing as it can come off as being nervous.
- Someone that enjoys presenting! If you look like you’re enjoying the opportunity to deliver your presentation, the chances are your audience will enjoy the opportunity of listening to you. Job done!
And ensure you:
- Speak with authority and conviction, but also come across as approachable and open-minded.
- Have a strong presence in the room (think open, positive body language, eye connection and controlled movement – no fidgeting) and that you consciously dial up your personal gravitas.
- Make the most of the first 60-90 seconds of the presentation by including an Attention Grab to create a positive first impression.
- Flow naturally from one part of the presentation to the other. To help with this, think of any presentation as if you’re having a conversation or telling a story.
- Where possible, invite the audience to ask you questions during your presentation, rather than just at the end. Answering questions effectively during a presentation is easy when you know how – and remember, if the audience is asking you questions, it shows they’re interested in you and your topic.
- Go out of your way to bring energy to the presentation and to actively engage the audience. Don’t forget that the audience has given up their time to listen to you, so give them something of yourself back.
- Show emotion during your presentation including joy, disappointment, empathy, pride and/or passion where appropriate. This can be done by changing the speed that you speak at, varying your volume and vocal pitch, tone and vocal inflections, using non-verbal cues, and harnessing your facial expressions and body language.
- Finally, and very importantly, ensure you bring your authentic self to any presentation – that means showing your personality! Ultimately it’s your personality that will define your own unique style. And to repeat Oscar Wilde’s quote from the start of this blog “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
Continue to practise these tried and tested communication techniques to help you become a more confident, persuasive and engaging presenter.
Develop your own executive style and build confidence through training or 1-to-1 coaching.
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Written By Belinda Huckle
Co-Founder & Managing DirectorRead Bio
Belinda is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of SecondNature International. With a determination to drive a paradigm shift in the delivery of presentation skills training both In-Person and Online, she is a strong advocate of a more personal and sustainable presentation skills training methodology.
Belinda believes that people don’t have to change who they are to be the presenter they want to be. So she developed a coaching approach that harnesses people’s unique personality to build their own authentic presentation style and personal brand.
She has helped to transform the presentation skills of people around the world in an A-Z of organisations including Amazon, BBC, Brother, BT, CocaCola, DHL, EE, ESRI, IpsosMORI, Heineken, MARS Inc., Moody’s, Moonpig, Nationwide, Pfizer, Publicis Groupe, Roche, Savills, Triumph and Walmart – to name just a few.