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Presentation Skills - Part 2 of 6

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Nicholas Boothman, a Toronto-based Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP) seminar leader and author, says that 55 percent of effective communication consists of non­verbal, visual cues (appearance, body language, facial ex­pressions, eye contact, stance, and hand gestures), while 38 percent is auditory, verbal skill (tonality, pitch, rate, intensity, emphasis, and articulation/enunciation), but only 7 percent is content (what you actually say and show). Since so much of the message is body language, you need to see yourself as the audience does and convey an open, confident self. Identify your own style and then work to refine it in each presentation. You can learn from other speakers, but don't try to adopt the style of some­one else you have seen present. Be yourself.



Tape record yourself making a presentation and listen to your voice. Use your natural vocal range to vary the pitch of your voice. Try to use a variety of volumes and pace, but be careful about going too fast so you don't get tongue-tied or trip over your own words. Use volume, rate, and pitch to add emphasis or "punch" to your message. Re­member too that strategic pauses can be very powerful.


If you are standing in front of an audience and using pro­jected visuals, be sure that you do not block anyone's view of the screen. You should also try to stand to the left of the visual as the audience views it. This way their eyes move naturally from left to right, from you to the visual. Make sure you know how far to move back in order not to block the line of sight of the person seated on the far left. Put a small piece of masking tape on the floor as a reminder. The audience will not notice it but you will. Stand facing the audience with your heart pointing to­ward them. Turning your back to them will terminate any possibility of two-way communication and may even be viewed as an insult by some. Natural gestures with the

open palm facing up and the arm extended are viewed as both friendly and inviting. Avoid folding your hands to­gether or putting them behind your back. Your hands should stay in sight and be relaxed.


Part 1  Part 2   Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6

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