Thursday, November 10, 2011

Five invisible speaker tricks to improve your presentations & speeches

Pay no attention to these tactics. Most audience members won't notice them, so speakers and presenters can consider these your stealth partners, tools you can use without drawing additional attention to your method:
  • Your invisible nerves: Don't tell them you're nervous, and the audience usually won't know. That can be your secret, and it's one that automatically makes you look confident.
  • A smile: It not only covers your nervousness, but also counteracts the natural tendency of your mouth to turn down or flatline (which may make you look more somber than you intend).
  • Toe taps, done inside your shoe without moving your entire foot, can be your invisible way to mark time so you slow down when speaking. Try this line while adding two toe-taps where noted: "Good morning [tap, tap] Thank you so much for inviting me to speak about social media [tap tap], a subject that gets me really excited [tap tap]. Let's start with online video..."
  • Suck in your gut and lower your shoulders -- two moves that are invisible if you do them before you're on stage. Your posture will improve imperceptibly to the audience, but in a way that should energize you.
  • A remote with a timer can be set to buzz silently in your hand at particular intervals--say, when you have just five minutes left, or at the points where you want to transition. Try the Logitech Professional Presenter R800 with Green Laser Pointer.  
What are your unseen tactics when speaking or presenting? Add them in the comments, please.

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