How long will you want to hear a person, who is sitting casually in his chair; looking at the window, wall or floor; and without any sort of expression on his face or movement of body parts? You will certainly lose track of his words in hardly a few minutes. Your body language during a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, plays a decisive role in how long will you be able to keep the audience bound to your words.
Here is a critical overview of the importance of body language in a presentation:
To make your listeners feel that you are addressing them, with a personal appeal, you need to make eye contact with them. Although most presenters know and follow this technique but many break away from it, with the progress of the presentation; which leads to wavering of attention amongst your audience.
Your gestures especially through hands and arms are a vital source of non-verbal communication; hence they need to be used carefully. With your arms dangling by your side, your presentation will look more mechanical. A harmony between your words and movement of hands helps the audience understand your emotions and concept in a better way.
Although some people prefer to stand at the same spot while giving a presentation; there are many who change their postures as well as position as the presentation proceeds. Walking or standing while you are talking depends on how comfortable you are in doing this. Moreover, in certain cases the listeners find it a distraction too. Hence, this judgment should be taken based on the type of audience you will be presenting to.
A straight face will give the impression of a robot while overdoing it might make you look like an exaggerator. Using your expressions is a crucial technique and it takes some time to master. So, the way you are meant to smile; narrow down or widen your eyes; even the twitch of your eyebrows should be exercised with care.
The various gestures by important personalities have been a part of the study for body languages. There are several instances where the manners of handshakes; and putting hands over the shoulders have been interpreted differently, based on the ways they were conducted.
Although your listeners might not be experts in this regard; but when you convey your message to them, it is important to work on all the details.
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