IMCP: IMC Presentation Style

Dr. Randall Hansen's Integrated Marketing Communications Program (IMCP)

Sometimes how you present is as important -- maybe even more important -- than what you present. Here are some key pointers about presentation style.

Delivering Your Presentation Effectively

While there are many good tips for developing an effective presentation style, if you master one maxim, everything else will take care of itself:

No one presentation style works for every speaker. Aim to play to your own strengths and eliminate any bad habits such as repeatedly filling silences with "um" or swaying back and forth. Videotaping yourself helps pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.

Project energy and enthusiasm. In other words, use the same style as if you were having an animated conversation with a friend: enthusiasm, frequent eye contact, varied voice and facial expression and natural gestures.

Eye contact. Select three people in the room, one on your right, one near the center and one on your left. As you speak, focus on each for about five seconds, so that you are making a "three point turn." Follow the "80-20 Rule": spend 80 percent or more of your time looking at your audience, 20 percent or less at your notes.

Voice. Your voice sets the energy level. Practice volume in your room so you know you are loud enough. Speak slower than you would to a single friend because space and bodies absorb sound. Modulate (vary tone and pitch) to convey excitement. Deepen your voice slightly at the end of sentences to convey authority (rather than ending on a high note, as in the question). Don't "sing-song." Enunciate to pronounce every syllable clearly. Above all, project enthusiasm.

Gestures. Aim for natural gestures. If you find yourself with your hands clamped to your hips or clasped in front of you in a "fig leaf" or other poses, put them back at your sides. How to determine what your natural style is? Practice your talk with a textbook in each hand. The gestures you find yourself making even with the books are appropriate in front of an audience.

Face. Vary your facial expression to convey enthusiasm and emotion. Smile.

Go back to Dr. Randall Hansen's Integrated Marketing Communications Program (IMCP)