To make your presentation memorable you need to connect with your audience intellectually and emotionally. We connect intellectually through our choice of material and our organisation of our ideas – but it is the emotional connections that will make our audience remember our speech and our message.
On Monday I pointed out that charisma without content was an empty shell and we talked about creating content for our speech. Today we need to realise that a really powerful presenter appeals to our emotions as well as to our Intellect.
To create an emotional connection with our audience we need to use the three physical aspects of public speaking; Body language, gestures and vocal power.
Body Language – Our message is conveyed to our listeners not just by what we say, but by what we do not say. Often it is the unspoken message that is the most powerful. Our body language must mirror what we are saying for us to be believable. Trust is built through honesty and our audience must be able to trust in what we say.
Body language is also how our listeners learn how we feel about our subject. Are we energetic and enthused? Then our body language will demonstrate that. Our audience will mirror our emotional connection with our message. Learning how to use expressive body language is imperative for us to become Powerful Presenters.
Gestures – we often, incorrectly, label gestures as body language; but we can do so much more with descriptive gestures to send our message on a different level. Good word pictures will give our listeners a mental image of what we mean. We are delivering our message by audible means. But if we add really powerful descriptive gestures along with our words we are also giving a strong visual element to the message.
There are four types of gestures that professional speakers use, but probably the most popular is the descriptive. Physically indicating ‘How high: how wide; how big and what shape’ adds a real sense of drama and the mental image becomes much more powerful. Being skilful in the use of descriptive and emotive gestures is another necessity to becoming a Powerful Presenter.Vocal Power – vocal power goes beyond merely being heard; it means being heard with passion. We have often heard that the voice is the medium of the message, and if we are not mime artists then this is very true. Consider cold calling a customer. They cannot see your face and cannot judge you from facial expression. Your body language is invisible and so all that you have to convince the customer is the quality and authority of your voice.
Each person has a special and unique voice quality that makes it easy for us to recognise people even if it is all we have to go on. Voice is developed from physical attributes, some of which are unchangeable – but there is much more that we can do to improve our vocal quality than we realise.
Simple things like improving our muscle control while forming the words. Unfortunately we are often lazy about the way in which we speak and our facial muscles and our tongue become loose and flabby with lack of use! Dig out those tongue twisters and get some control back. You will find that your articulation will improve and with it the clarity of your speech. Your message cannot be comprehended if your speech cannot be understood.
Again, we need to understand that our audience’s emotional connection is generated by the emotional input we give. They will mirror us; and if we demonstrate that we are bored, uncaring and uninterested in our topic – then you cannot blame your audience if they are too!
There are some very simple tricks that speakers use to add dynamic qualities to their vocal presentation. Increasing speed, volume and rate to add a sense of growing excitement is just one. But if you doubt its effectiveness then just remember the excitement generated by a really good race caller – and then work out how it is done!
A really Powerful Presenter has learned how to project emotion merely by the use of the voice. And you can do so too. It really isn’t difficult you just need someone to show you the way. Learn from the professionals at Trischel by going to the website and checking out our Public Speaking Workshops. They are run on a regular basis so there must be one that fits in with your schedule! Hope to see you there soon.