Have you ever wondered why people like particular presenters? What is that key element that most influences the connection between a presenter and the audience?
Is it the content of the presentation – the story the presenter has to tell? Is it the presenter’s voice and the way the presenter speaks? Or is it the presenter’s non-verbal communication, posture and gestures?
Several studies in this area have established that, from the audience point of view, the most impactful presentation factor is the non-verbal communication of the presenter, weighing in at 55% of the total influence. Then, at 38% we have the voice. Finally, at 7% we have the presentation content.
Now, this doesn’t mean that story isn’t important – ultimately, your story will always be very important. Imagine a performance in which the presenter is a great communicator and has great control of the nonverbal communication and a great voice, but the content of the presentation is simply boring and poorly structured . . . in this case, the performance alone will never make for a high-impact presentation.
On the other hand, imagine a presenter who is afraid of public speaking, very nervous and unable to control the non-verbal communication and voice. Even though there is a fantastic story to be told, if the presenter fails to create a connection with the audience, the result will never be a high-impact presentation.
This means that if you want to create high impact presentations, you’ll need to create a strong connection with your audience, and the most effective way to achieve this is through good control of your nonverbal communication.
But what exactly is non-verbal communication?
As its name indicates, non-verbal communication is a means of communicating that doesn’t use language. The non-verbal encompasses posture, gestures, the way we look, facial expressions, the way we use the space around us, the way we address the audience, and how we do all this. The fact is, non-verbal messages are being sent constantly to everybody who sees and interacts with us, on and off the stage.
In day-to-day life we communicate non-verbally, but unconsciously. This non-verbal language is part of our culture, and we learn it naturally from our families. The impact of such communication can be huge, especially in such a formal situation as a corporate presentation. Hence the importance of managing our non-verbal “language” for the best possible result. Now you know the secret to high impact presentations.
In coming weeks we will publish a post providing tips on how to best use non-verbal language in presentations. So stay tuned!