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Presentation skills as Andy Harrington gives free training by teaching what he does while speaking to 6000 people at London’s 02 Arena
Nobody can avoid the mastery of presentation skills if they want to be considered a true authority in their chosen field. Simply because you cannot master that industry unless you can lead and educate a group of people.
But within the remit of ‘presentation skills’ there is a vital sub set of skills that you must master and that’s what this video is about.
It is my strongly held opinion that your openness and vulnerability as a human and a speaker is also your greatest asset. When nervous or stressed about speaking many people put on a speakers ‘persona’ and then become two different people dependent upon whether they are speaking in public or not. This can be seen or felt by the audience.
What sets the really best speakers as different from the others is congruence and absolute certainty. If this is the most important feature of the best presentation skills here are the most important skills that make this complete.
– Eye Contact:
What happens when most people make a presentation to a live group they start by scanning the entire room or audience with their eyes usually with quick-fire rates of speaking… normally driven by the adrenalin of the associated presentation skills needed when speaking to a group.
But this ‘widescreen’ rapid scanning of the audience is a only likely to disappoint and alienate your audience and make you appear shifty. When the definite fact is that people give more credibility to people who consistently make steady eye contact… and of course distrust those that do not.
Additionally the human mind can quickly become overwhelmed and disorientated by all the array of visual stimuli when considering the different face, clothes, colours and range of expressions which can leave the presenter feeling confused stressed and uncomfortable.
What you need is to find stable input and concentrate on one persons eyes. This is the most natural element of a one-on-one conversation. It therefore makes sense when you also speak to any size of group. Deep breathe, slow down get some perspective and your bearings… and by doing what follows you will have the chance to focus your attention on what matters.
Concentrate by looking at an individual… into their eyes… and by so doing you are naturally talking to one person at any one time. Then at the natural end of a sentence move to another person and fix your gaze on their eyes. With a small natural pause in between each sentence.
Now instead of presenting to a group it will feel as though you are having a series of conversation with one individual at a time. Just remember to naturally maintain that gaze until you finish that sentence and move on to the next person. I guarantee your presenting skills will improve several fold if you maintain this method.
-Gesturing – what to do with your body:
Most people look uncomfortable when presenting because they don’t know what to do with their hands, arms, feet and the rest of their body. Some inexperienced presenters will put their hands in their pockets or clasp them tightly into their body… again making them look unnatural because of their awkwardness.
The most natural position for your hands is directly in front of you somewhere between the waist and the chest. Most people find it best to practice not moving their hands at all… to disconnect the old bad habits. Then when you have got used to this you feel in control of your hands when you do start to move them… and then because it becomes conscious you feel in control and make the movements and gestures that best supplement your speech and create the air of authority and expertise you want.
Us your hands to describe you words. If you are showing your audience how big something is make a big movement with your hands. When you are finished return them to the start position as mentioned earlier.
-Inflection and Volume in your voice:
We have all been there. When we have been in the audience and the presenter speak for ages in a long monotone way that has everyone cringing with boredom. The content of the presentation may even be good… but if its delivered in this way its still perceived by the audience as being completely boring.
But when you increase and decrease the volume and the same with your voice inflection (which is the differentiation in the pitch or tone of your speech) it comes over to the attendees as having more passion and feeling. Use this while speaking to the group with belief and they will automatically see you as their leader and in authority.