Experts say that 7 percent of human communication comes from words, while 38 percent is from a person’s tone of voice and 55 percent comes from body language.
More often than not people spend a vast amount of time working on WHAT they need to say when preparing a speech or presentation and virtually no time on HOW to say it. That means that the audience tends to tune out, not remember what is being said, or has no affinity for the speaker.
These results are completely opposite to the desired effect the speaker hopes to achieve. Of course I’m not saying that the content isn’t important, it’s just that to be truly remembered and be more persuasive, it’s more important how something is said than what is said.
Think of the most memorable speakers you’ve heard in your lifetime and I’m sure you’ll agree the one’s that were more memorable had more purposeful movement, hand gestures, voice inflection, eye contact, etc.
Here are 5 tips for delivering the HOW in your presentation or speech!
- Eye contact should be meaningful. It should be like little “visits” with each listener. Try and make eye contact with everyone in the audience if possible.
- When you move, do it for a reason. Make sure the movement is purposeful and not constant. Be careful of pacing, shifting, rocking, etc. Start off front and center when you begin and make sure you end up in the same spot when you finish.
- You should change the inflection in your voice when you have something important to say that you want them to pay attention to. Things to work on are speed, tone, volume, pitch, etc.
- Gestures should be broad and dramatic when emphasizing a point. When not make a meaningful gesture your hands should be still. There are many places to put your hands when you’re not gesturing. You can put them by your sides, in your pockets, crossed in front of you, on your hips, behind your back, just to suggest a few locations. I would vary where you rest your hands…..then, make your bold gesture, followed by putting them in a different resting position until the next gesture.
- Visual Aids are exactly that…….Aids. Some people make their visuals the focal point of their presentation. There are several different mediums such as handouts, PowerPoint, flip charts, brochures, etc. Just use them for reference, so people can process what you have to say. Don’t let your visuals overpower your message.
Remember that the HOW can Wow when delivering a speech, sometimes More Than The What You Are Talking About!
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