The Role of Body Language in Powerful Presenting

April 16th, 2019 | Sarah Callender, Commercial Director at Duo

BODY LANGUAGE is an essential tool in connecting with people, building an engaged audience and it is a key element in powerful presentations.

We are often unaware of our facial expressions in everyday situations, but this is one of the most important factors in delivering a dynamic presentation, keeping people interested and maintaining their attention. People often subconsciously purse their lips or narrow their eyes when they are listening, however this can come across as being disinterested in what the other person is saying, or even disagreeing. Keep your face open, and smile and your audience will be much more receptive to what you are saying.

Another technique, called “tagging”, is an effective way of reinforcing your message when you are pitching for investment. This can be done linguistically through the uses of phrases such as “does that make sense, or simply ‘yes?’ but it can also be done effectively via body language. Nodding, and getting your audience to nod along with you, subconsciously embeds your message, increasing the chances of a positive reaction to your pitch.

When pitching, or presenting, sometimes people alter the way they see themselves based on their audience and then in turn, often unknowingly, can alter the way the audience sees them. In any pitch or presentation environment, it is important to put yourself on an equal level with your audience. People sometimes shrink if they feel other people are more important than them, which can be perceived as asking for permission to speak, or a lack of confidence. On the other end of the scale, some people prepare themselves for battle by making themselves bigger and more imposing. Level yourself with your audience, smile and and maintain eye contact wherever possible to form the  best connection.

In our experience people often get caught up in the content they are presenting ahead of a big pitch or presentation, and once in the room focus on pre-empting the questions they might be asked, but often they forget what their body language, and facial expressions, may be saying to their audience.

At Duo we help businesses and individuals understand ways they can use body language to their advantage to form more meaningful connections, deliver powerful presentations and leave a lasting impact on their audience.