Follow Us

Your Personal and Professional Development: Plans, Tips and Lists

Powered by Bookboon, your personal eLibrary with 1,700+ eBooks on soft skills and personal development

Presentation skills: Want your audience warm to you?

Posted in Articles
presentation skills
presentation skills

Of course you do! When an audience likes and respects a speaker, they will not only be more engaged but the believability of the presentation as well as the speaker’s chances of persuading the audience to agree with their message increase massively.

This blog was written by Bookboon author Michael Brown.

Engage any audience

It’s actually quite simple. If you want your audience to like you, you have to like them. Making an audience feel they are part of the presentation is a great way to receive a warm response.

Be confident

Some of the warmest people step in front of an audience to make a presentation, freeze, and present as if they came directly from the undertaker. Even the most confident person can let self-consciousness get in the way of a great presentation which masks their normal likability. If you appear nervous or underconfident, your audience might feel sorry for you, but they will be unlikely to warm to you. The challenge is to allow your normal liking and respect for others to show through in spite of self-consciousness.

Here’s a solution that works well for many trainees.

Practice showing warmth

Seriously. Get in front of the bathroom mirror and imagine bumping into a friend you haven’t seen for a while. A friend you like and respect. Look at the subtle changes happening in your face muscles – especially around your eyes. Don’t allow a big smile. Stay with the subtle changes. Next time you meet a real person you like and respect, be aware of those physical changes and use them for your next presentation. The more you practice, the more naturally those subtle, warm expressions will come through in your presentation.

The bonus

It’s for very nervous people. When you make your body to show your normal liking for your audience, your mind will allow you to feel more confident. Do you see the fascinating implications? Your mind can instruct your body to do things that instruct your mind.

Michael Brown is a Bookboon author: see How to prepare for your presentationHow to connect with any audienceand How to handle questions and interjections.