How to be more persuasive when presenting

One of the many challenges presenters face is how to be persuasive, engaging and likable all at the same time during their presentation.
Whether you are giving a pitch to receive funding, giving a presentation to a prospective client, or presenting an idea to other members of your team, your content, body language and voice all play a part in how persuasive you are.
In this post we’re going to share our top tips to help you be more persuasive when presenting so that your audience will listen and respond in a positive way.
 
Get the structure right
Opening:  You have to grab the audience’s attention straightaway – shock them with a statistic, ask a rhetorical question, or tell a personal story.  Whichever method you use to hook them in, remember this sets the scene for the rest of the presentation so make sure you give a positive first impression.
Main: Wrap the main focus of your content in a story (see Tip 2 below).  Watch the language you use and keep things simple....
presentation skills

Top 3 presentation skills that make your audience sit up and listen

Giving a presentation is a nerve-wracking experience for many people. But it doesn’t have to be! With some simple presentation skills, you can grab your audience’s attention and keep them engaged. The key is knowing what makes an engaging talk that will make your audience sit up and listen.
To help you out, we’ve put together our top 3 presentation skills that will make any speaker sound more confident and professional, whether presenting in-person or virtually.
 
1. Be passionate about the topic you are presenting
The chances are that you may not always love the topic of your presentation. Sometimes we just want to give up and go home! But there is hope!
One way to incorporate passion into your presentation is to tell a story.  Stories are powerful because they connect with your audience emotionally as well as logically. They remind us of the personal connection we all share with each other in our humanity.  Stories help to make your audience feel a part of wh...
facial expressions

The importance of facial expressions during hybrid presentations

Presentation skills is not just about the words you speak or the content on your slides.  It encompasses everything… your gestures, your posture, your body language, your vocal tone, pitch and volume, and your facial expressions.  They all play a huge role in how your audience perceives you and your presentation, especially as we are now embracing a hybrid world!
Below are our tips to help ensure you are giving the right message when it comes to your facial expressions, so you don’t lose any engagement with your audience members or miss an opportunity to connect with them.
 
Why are facial expressions important?
Facial expressions are vital when it comes to communicating.
During a presentation, your audience depend on your facial expressions to enhance the meaning of what you are saying.  This is especially true when presenting virtually as the audience sees a close-up view of your face, so you need to be aware of your expressions now more than ever!
Congruency is key ...
hybrid meeting

How to present with impact to a hybrid audience

According to a new Harvard Business School Survey 61% of people say they would like to have a hybrid working structure.
And a survey from CIPD Ireland in March of this year, found that one in two businesses in Ireland plan to adopt remote working in some form on a permanent basis.
With this in mind, we can safely say, that the virtual and hybrid world is here to stay.  So, it is time to add some new relevant skills to your presentation skills toolkit.
Read on for practical tips that will help you deliver your presentation effectively and with impact to a hybrid audience.
 
1. Room and equipment set up
Even though there will be people physically in the room for your presentation or meeting, your main priority and focus when setting up the room should be on the people who will be attending virtually.
Focus on what the virtual audience will need in order for them to feel included and be fully engaged.  Set the room up with them in mind, as they will need to see everything including...

How to use the Section Zoom tool to add impact to your PowerPoint presentations

If you want to take your presentation slides up a level, this step-by-step tutorial will show you how to use the Section Zoom tool to add more impact to your presentation!  If you prefer to watch the video showing you how to set up this tool, scroll to the end of this post.
Picture this; in PowerPoint you have created a ‘main’ slide that headlines the points you plan to cover (e.g. an agenda slide).  You then ask your audience which headline they would like to cover first.  You click on the headline they have chosen, and jump to the slides in that section, before returning back to the ‘main’ slide. This means you can go through your presentation in any order, or even choose to skip parts that are not relevant.
Well, the Section Zoom feature in PowerPoint allows you to present your content in this non-linear way.  This creates a more interactive feel to your slides, and will help you tailor your presentation specifically to your audience.
One thing to note though is that the...
virtual meetings camera on

How to encourage people to turn on their camera during virtual meetings

Whilst it has become the norm now to present virtually and attend more virtual meetings, there still may be times when you host a meeting and are met with a picture of your attendees rather than seeing them in person.
Your participants could be camera-shy, have a background that they are not comfortable with, or a multitude of other reasons.
As the meeting host, you need to be aware that some of the attendees may still not be comfortable turning their cameras on no matter how much you try to persuade them.  Whilst our tips below are aimed at encouraging visibility during virtual meetings, there may be times when it’s better to just let the attendee make their own decision with regards to their camera being turned on.
For those who have no significant barriers to turning on their cameras, our top tips below will help you encourage them to turn them on in your next virtual meeting.
 
1.  Let them know the benefits of turning on the camera
If you want your meeting to be highly in...
first impression on zoom

6 Ways to Create a Great First Impression on Zoom, Teams or any Virtual Platform

In a virtual meeting we are more likely to clue into what we “see” before what we “hear”.
And it takes very little time for people to form their first impressions.
It can take as little as one tenth of a second according to research by Alexander Todorov of Princeton, to form an impression of a face you have never seen before.  He says:
“We decide very quickly whether a person possesses many of the traits we feel are important, such as likeability and competence, even though we have not exchanged a single word with them. It appears that we are hard-wired to draw these inferences in a fast, unreflective way.”
While his research was conducted in the world of face-to-face communication, you would have to wonder if the same is true in the virtual world.
Personally, I believe it is.
In the virtual world, where creating a connection can be so much more challenging, it is super important that we create the right first impression.
Unfortunately, we do not always create the...

6 steps to a successful speech or presentation

Each year on 15th March (World Speech Day), organisations and communities globally are invited to hold public speaking events to encourage people to give a speech, talk or presentation.  We thought we’d share our 6 simple steps to help you be successful with your next speech or presentation, regardless of whether it’s delivered in-person or via a webcam virtually.
1.  Who
Who is your audience?  Have you ever listened to a presenter and thought “they don’t know who they’re talking to”?
It makes no difference if you are talking to a large group of people in the same room, or an audience located in different places around the world, if you don’t know who you are speaking to then you won’t be able to make a connection with them.
Research your audience!  What industry are they from?  Are there cultural differences you need to consider?  What age range are they?  What challenges do they face?  How can you help them?
Once you know who your audience is,...
SSS of presenting

The SSS of Presenting and Why You Need To Know It

Sometimes the first minute of a presentation can be the most nerve wracking!
This is why during our Presentation Skills training programmes, both virtual and in-person, we spend time talking about what we call the SSS of presenting.  These are 3 quite simple, yet often overlooked, key things to do before diving straight into your presentation.  Not only will they help you feel more confident, but they will also help you look more confident to your audience.
So, what is the SSS of presenting?
S – Settle
When presenting in front of a group of people, be it virtual or face to face, you might feel the need to start talking the second you get up and launch straight into what you have to say (probably with the aim of getting it over with as soon as possible!)
This can give the audience the sense of being rushed… which is one thing you don’t want them to feel.  You want them to take notice of what you are saying and connect with you.
Therefore, before you start your presentation, jus...
gesture

How to gesture naturally

Whenever we carry out presentation skills training, whether face to face or virtually, whether in a one-to-one coaching session, or with a team in-company, there is one common area that clients struggle with and that is how to gesture and look natural doing it.
They will say that they feel “fake” when they gesture, and it is not in their nature to do it.  Yet, when we see them communicating informally during our sessions, we see them in full flight and gesturing considerably!
Why?
Because when they talk about topics they are interested in, they become highly animated.
Obviously 2020 saw a lot of us having to present online via the likes of Zoom, Teams, etc., and you may think that gesturing goes out of the window when you are presenting to a webcam.  However, you still need to gesture in order to look natural, regardless of whether you are in front of a group of people in the same room or a laptop screen.
Read on for our tips on how to do just that.
 
How to gesture and loo...