Be observant of and respond to the body language of your audience, if they look positive and engaged it will build your confidence.

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1 Effective Delivery Effective delivery of a presentation is not just about what we say but how we say it. And if our voice tone and body language contradict the words we are using, our audience will believe the voice tone and body language. Use your non-verbal communication to engage your audience; to demonstrate how enthusiastic you are about this product/recommendation; and how committed you are to making sure future actions suggested are delivered. Be observant of and respond to the body language of your audience, if they look positive and engaged it will build your confidence. Maximising vocal impact Volume Vary this, emphasis key words and ideas with increased volume and make sure you project your voice and clearly articulate every word, without shouting. Keeping your head up ensures words are not disappearing into your chest. An upbeat, energetic delivery usually demonstrates your enthusiasm for your subject matter which is a very persuasive element when seeking approval/sign off. However ensure you are not talking too quickly, the rate of delivery must allow everyone in the audience to keep pace with the information or ideas we are conveying. Missing a vital piece of information at the start may affect their ability to make an informed decision. Excess speed may also show you are nervous. Pauses help to emphasis important points, can be used for dramatic effect and will give the audience an opportunity to reflect and absorb everything you have said. Pace Remember, you are familiar with the content, you prepared it, and your audience is not. Speaking too slowly may be seen as patronising or that you are uncertain of what you will say next.

2 Tone The more self-confidence and interest we can bring to bear on our subject, the more engaging our voices will sound. Our voice tone usually reflects our mood, ensure when you are presenting your tone is animated and expressive so the audience recognise how enthusiastic you are about your subject matter. This is contagious so they re more likely to decide in your favour. Change your tone at the start of each new section or when emphasising an important point. Aim for the variety in tone you may use when reading a child a story. Articulation Warm up and stretch your tongue, lips and teeth, the more flexible they are the crisper your diction and less likely words will be mumbles and lost. Tongue twisters are a great way to improve diction. Control verbal mannerisms e.g. err, umm, okay, you know. Pause instead, the more familiar you are with the content the less likely this is to happen.

3 Body Language We want our audience to sit up and take notice of us and what we are saying, so our body language must be assertive and confident. Eye contact This demonstrates confidence, generates trust, maintains audience attention and enables you to see how the audience is responding to the information. Knowing your content well and using cue cards will allow you to make as much eye contact as you can with your audience. Move your head and not just your eyes, in a small group, look directly at someone until you have made a connection with them, ensure you have included everyone. Chin at 90 degrees to your chest. Make sure you are not just picking up the people who are looking most responsive or asking/answering questions, use the lighthouse technique. This involves sweeping the room from time to time ensuring you are connecting with everyone for 2-3 seconds. It is good practice to do this at the start before you begin. Avoid Looking down at notes Focusing on a couple of people only Forgetting the people at the side Looking beyond the audience at the middle distance Posture Standing in an upright yet relaxed way demonstrates confidence and ensures that you can breathe as much air as you need into your diaphragm. Avoid Stand with your feet hip width apart Focus your weight into the lower half of your body Balance equally on both feet Stretch your spine Relax your shoulders and arms loosely by your side or clasped front/back Fidgeting with hands, feet, pens, cue cards.

4 Movement/Gestures/facial expression Gestures These will introduce variety into your delivery style and help you to emphasis key points. They must be natural and relaxed. Downward movements of our hands indicate a clear statement of intent, upward hands indicate I am open to other ideas. Movement Don t be afraid to move around the group, as long as it is fluid and confident, it will differentiate you from presenters who are rooted to the spot, through fear. Facial expression Variety to reflect and emphasis the point you or the audience are making. Smiling relaxes you as well as your audience.

5 Audience engagement Audience attention is highest at the beginning and the end of a presentation, in the middle their attention can wander, engage them again with the following:- Humour effective humour arises naturally from a subject, it is not about telling a joke, that s best left to professional comics. A relevant anecdote, passing a remark or unusual turn of phrase, being good humoured and responsive to the audience works well. Be yourself and don t try too hard, never extract humour at the expense of others or put yourself down to the extent that it could undermine your credibility or professionalism. Use personal examples, anecdotes, and analogies to bring the facts and figures to life. Use unusual or shocking facts and statistics to make your audience sit up and think. Visuals create variety, help your audience to understand remember key messages. Use questions to involve the audience, in a short presentation, these may only be one word responses or a show of hands but they allow each member of the audience to be personally involved. Rhetorical questions get people thinking and hook them in if they are waiting for your answer. Use people s names and refer to them during the presentation if they have some connection to your content.

6 Visuals Often what we want to say is best communicated through a visual e.g. a photo or a pie chart. It would take many words to describe what a visual does in the moment, they are often more engaging and provide variety for our audience. Visuals help the audience by providing a route map through our presentation, a written agenda is key. Visuals draw the audience attention to key facts. We will remember more if we both see and hear information. 60% of the population prefer to process information visually. However it is worth remembering that you are your main visual aid and additional visuals should be used to support, not replace you. Try and use a couple of visual options, too many may confuse the audience and will be difficult for you to manage smoothly. Hand-outs Useful for an audience to take away at the end, if you are using them during the presentation, make sure there is one for everyone and don t start talking about the content until everyone has had one. Powerpoint Looks professional and useful for pictures and photos but can limit audience interaction Flipchart Great for audience participation by gathering the audience ideas, prepare beforehand and make sure they are well presented. Objects Have enough so everyone can touch/feel/look. If there are only one or two, wait until everyone has had a chance to see before moving on to your next point.

7 Tips for using visuals Do Don t Use pictures when appropriate Use words sparingly, never whole sentences, use bullet points 4-8 per slide Use font size 20 and above Use lower case, easier to read Use a sans serif font for body text. Sans serifs like Arial, Helvetica, or Calibri tend to be the easiest to read on screens. Colour for impact Use PowerPoint templates for charts, graphs Have contingency handouts if the technology fails Hit B on the keyboard to blank the screen Have postits on prepared flipcharts so you can easily find them Talk about what is on screen/flip. The audience will almost instantly read every slide as soon as it s displayed. If you have the next four points you plan to make on screen, they ll be three steps ahead of you. They ll be waiting for you to catch up rather than listening with interest to the point you re making. Talk to the visual Hide behind it Read out words verbatim Use too many words, pictures, colours, too many will confuse the audience and dilute the message Use fancy effects, sounds on PowerPoint

8 Handling questions/challenges successfully Questions from members of the audience are generally a positive response. It demonstrates they have been listening to what you are saying and want to know more. So view it as a compliment. Questions are also a challenging time in a presentation as they may raise subjects you have not considered or know less about. Previously you have had control of the content and you have now handed it over to the audience. In a short presentation, ask for questions to be noted down and kept to the end, you don t want to be taken off track by an irrelevant question or one you will address later in the presentation. Techniques for handling questions Preparation is key here. Make sure you have thought about likely questions from this audience beforehand what will they be most concerned about and make sure you have included it in your presentation. Repeat the question so you clarify your understanding, make sure the rest of the audience have heard it and get some thinking time. If you don t know the answer, never pretend you do. Be honest, acknowledge the question is an interesting one and say you will find out or ask if anyone else in the room knows the answer. Be generous and not defensive. Common Challenges Sometimes people will use the Q & A session to challenge you. How you respond will be key to diffusing a potentially tricky situation. Check the person has asked you a question and not just stated their opinion. You can t answer an opinion but you can say: I m not sure what question you are asking me. In addition, you can comment on their interesting, different perspective and move on. People having a side conversation Ask them a direct question, keeping talking and move toward them, or stop talking altogether and wait. Someone challenges what you have said Appreciate there may be other perspectives on this issue. You can divert them by saying you are keen to find out more from them after the presentation. Remind them of the aim of your presentation and why you have chosen your approach, appreciating it may be different from theirs. Someone keeps interrupting Use their name and remind them there will be a chance for any unanswered questions to be taken at the end. Time is tight and you still have a number of points you want to cover.

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