When presenting, not only what your voice says counts, but also what your body expresses - and that is usually quite a lot! We will tell you what is important in body language so that you can convince in presentations all around.
We always communicate
"One cannot not communicate." The communication researcher Paul Watzlawick gets to the point. Because even when we don't use our voice, we are always in communicative exchange with our fellow human beings. Namely through body language, which always says something through posture, facial expressions and gestures. This non-verbal communication is of particular importance when you are standing in front of an audience - for example during a presentation. Because body language has the power to support the spoken word, to address the audience and to captivate them. However, if you stand there stiff as a poker and speak with mask-like facial expressions, you will not reach the audience. Here we reveal our five best tips on how you can train your body language - and thus convince your audience with your body language:
1. Make eye contact
A speaker begins his presentation. The arguments are good, the presentation slides are vividly designed, but something is wrong: the speaker's gaze goes nowhere instead of to his audience. The result: The audience does not feel addressed and quickly loses attention. A good speaker uses eye contact to his audience. Because that is the easiest way to show the audience appreciation. Eye contact is particularly important at the beginning of the presentation. Before you start a presentation, your eyes should rest on the audience for a few seconds. This way you can make sure that the audience pays attention to you and is ready for the presentation. Core statements should also be underlined with eye contact during the presentation to give them more meaning and increase credibility.
2. Assume an upright position and firm stand
Not only the look is important when it comes to body language in presentations. A speaker can also use posture to signal a competent and serious appearance. To do this, stand with your legs about hip-wide open and relax your shoulders. In this way you not only stand firm and calm, but you also convey security and self-confidence to your audience. If your feet are too close together, you will look insecure. A wide legged stand is too dominant. Nevertheless, movement should not be neglected in a good presentation, because in the right place it gives a presentation dynamics and loosens up the presentation. Another mistake is to hide behind the lectern during a presentation. This makes a distanced impression and creates a barrier to the audience.
3. Accompany words with gestures
The gesture refers to the use of arms and hands during communication. If you underline words, pictures and situations with sweeping movements, you appear dynamic and relaxed. In addition, they lend more power to important arguments and underline information. Arms and hands dangling limply from the body during the entire presentation have the opposite effect: the presenter makes an unmotivated and boring impression.
have no place in a presentation the following gestures:
- Pointed gestures, like pointing with the index finger. It is better to use the whole hand for pointing. In this way you symbolize openness to your audience.
- Fists: A clenched fist rarely says something good. Even in presentations they are a taboo.
- Crossed arms: If you cross your arms during a lecture, you will create a barrier between you and the audience.
- Wild waving around: Also not better than to do without gestures completely is too much movement with arms and hands. Use gestures consciously to emphasize certain statements.
4. Authentic facial expressions
In addition to gestures, facial expressions, i.e. facial movements, play a decisive role in their effect on the audience. Because the emotions of the speaker are reflected in the facial expressions. This may seem unsettling, but showing emotions can be a real advantage. Authentic joy about what is being said also spills over to the audience and convinces them more quickly of your arguments. An honest smile, for example, is a positive signal. A rigid and emotionless expression, on the other hand, appears distanced and cold.
5. Pay attention to the right clothing
Whether you like it or not - during a presentation all eyes are on you. A well-groomed and friendly appearance is also part of a convincing body language. Therefore, make absolutely sure that you avoid mishaps such as open buttons or stains on your clothes. It is also advisable to match the color of your outfit to the background during the lecture so that the colors do not blur or distract with the background.
Conclusion: Make your body language a super power
Presentations to an audience can be nerve-wracking. But always remember: not only the slides of the presentation are the medium, but above all you yourself. An open posture, facial expressions and gestures can help you to appear more confident and emphasize important information during the presentation. If you understand and skilfully use the effect of the outside on the inside and the audience, you can turn body language into a real superpower and inspire the audience.