It’s easy to think that presentations are all about what you do aurally, but anyone familiar with Working Voices no doubt knows that body language is incredibly important too.
Perhaps just as important is the ability to connect kinaesthetically with your audience. Essentially that means using body language not just to back up what you’re saying or to appear congruent, but to physically connect. Because of various cultural factors, as described by Nick Morgan in his in-depth article about kinaesthetic learning (if you’re interested, follow the link at the bottom), businesses often adopt a subdued culture when it comes to presenting.
By closing the physical gap between the audience and ourselves, engaging them in meaningful questions and answers, and utilising the space provided, we can make presentations impactful and powerful. It can be hard to do this, especially when using visual aids, which often require the lights to be dimmed and either hides the speaker in darkness or showers them in projected computer light, so creativity is key.
It doesn’t all have to be spontaneous movement toward the audience; rehearsed moments, such as a certain gesture on a particular clause, or a pause after a certain point, can genuinely create impact and punctuate the presentation. That doesn’t mean a presentation should be peppered with choreographed moments like that, but it does offer an aid more interesting than a PowerPoint slide and more inclusive than a sweep of the eyes across the room. To work, as with most things when it comes to presentation skills, it has to be done with sincerity.
If you think this style of speaking might suit you or your presentation, I urge you to google ‘Kinaesthetic Speaking’ and do some reading. The best place to start is undoubtedly Nick Morgan’s own article, found below at the Harvard Business Review.