Presentations are an integral part of the business environment today, be it your run of the mill meetings, sales pitches or fundraising opportunities. But only a few of us don’t break into a sweat at the thought of going up and presenting in front of a bunch of people.
This usually stems from a lack of confidence. But confidence is not necessarily an inbuilt or integral part of a person. Confidence can be built and sometimes faked. There are even some studies which show that just adopting a confident body language can actually raise confidence.
So today let’s look at 6 ways in which you can look, and in turn feel more confident during a presentation.
- Dress to feel confident
Wear something that flatters you and that you are comfortable in. Looking good can make you feel good and more certain of yourself. At the same time, clothes that make you fidget will distract you and the audience, and make you come across as unsure.
- Pay attention to your posture
Basic posture etiquettes like standing straight up instead of slouching and adopting a wide stance make a big difference. Research has proven that any posture which makes you small suggests a lack of confidence while expansive postures reflect the opposite. Similarly, adopting a better posture by itself will reflect in your own attitude and make you feel more in command.
- Make and maintain eye-contact
Eye-contact is a good way to connect with your audience. It shows you respect them and yourself, and forces them to engage with what you are saying. At the same time, eye contact immediately suggests you are confident, authoritative and believable.
- Use the correct body language.
Kasia Wezowski from the Center for Body Language identifies several positions which they say indicate effective and persuasive body language. According to the research conducted by the Center, they found a strong correlation between those adopting these positions during presentations or public speaking and the likelihood of success. Read more about these positions here.
- Know your subject matter
Rehearse enough and know the material fully, so you won’t appear to be scrambling around for the next thought and slide. When you know that you know what you are talking about, it will have a direct impact on your nerves and staying calm will be easier. Your mind will be able to focus on what you are currently talking about and your style of delivering, rather than panicking about what comes next.
Practise these tips and watch your confidence grow with every presentation you make.