FranklinCovey Consultant Blogs | Todd Wangsgard | Audience
Lately I’ve been working with quite a few clients who are refining their presentation skills. Mostly, we’re working on their ability to give presentations face-to-face. Although everyone is expected, with increasing frequency, to deliver high quality messages over the phone, web and in print media, there is something that makes face-to-face presentations particularly challenging and rewarding – both at the same time. That something is you!
In no other medium do you put your own voice, face and body movement on display than when you are in the same room as your audience. There is a connection you are capable of making with people that comes from no other medium. Trust me – I conduct a fair number of webinars each month, some with live web-cam feed. It is not the same. When in-person eye contact is made and repeated throughout a presentation a presenter makes that ‘emotional handshake’ with the audience in a way that communicates instantly (no half-second delay) that I hear you, I understand you, we’re on the same page. It can also communicate that you don’t get it, it isn’t clear, or we’re not on the same page. Course correction can follow much more smoothly, and we move on.
The next time you speak or train in front of a crowd, plug in a small digital camcorder (Flip-cam style) so you can record a few minutes of your presentation. Review three times – first with the volume up, secondly with the volume off, and thirdly looking away from the screen, but with the volume up. Take some notes on what you see or don’t see, what you hear or don’t hear. Video feedback is some of the rawest, yet honest feedback you can get.
Finally, do everything you can to get out of your notes, out of your own thoughts of “how do I look,” and out of your stress over ‘is my delivery smooth,’ and concentrate more and more on your audience. Your genuine, connected face-to-face interaction will facilitate increased retention as well as better rapport.