How to Look More Confident During a Presentation

Body language is the key to appearing more confident during a presentation. According to a study conducted by the Center for Body Language, during presentations, people are watching the body language and microexpressions rather than paying attention to the ideas and the on-screen information.

Here are a few tips for creating effective, confident and persuasive body language and how to look more confident during a presentation:

The Box – To keep your body language under control, imagine a box in front of your chest and belly and contain your hand movements within it. This method creates an honest and truthful appearance and was used by Bill Clinton on a regular basis. In fact, Clinton used this method so often; it has been referred to as “The Clinton Box.”

The Ball – To create a commanding and dominant presence, gesturing as if you were holding a basketball between your hands is the way to go. This is an indicator of confidence and control as if you almost literally have the facts at your fingertips. Steve Jobs frequently used this position in his speeches.

Pyramid Hands – In most cases, when individuals are nervous, they fidget. When they are confident, they are still. One way to accomplish that is to clasp both hands together in a relaxed pyramid. Many executives employ this gesture, though beware of overuse or pairing it with domineering or arrogant facial expressions.

Wide Stance – When you stand strong and steady, with your feet shoulder width apart, it is a real signal of confidence. This position also indicates you feel in control.

Palms Up – This is a genuine gesture demonstrating openness and honesty. Oprah often uses this during her speeches and appears willing to connect sincerely with people you are speaking to.

Palms Down – The opposite movement can be viewed positively too, as a sign of strength, authority, and assertiveness. This demonstrates assertiveness and strength during your presentation.

The next time you give a presentation, have someone record it to review your facial expressions and body movements. How did you stand and gesture? Did you use any of these positions? If not, think about how you might do so the next time you are in front of an audience or a prospect. Practice in front of a mirror, then with friends or family, until your movements seem natural.

Non-verbal communication will not necessarily make or break your presentation, but it may help you achieve a higher level of success. For more information regarding presentations, contact your Regional Sales Director for assistance.