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Studies have shown that an audience bases their judgment of the quality of a speaker as follows:
Over 93% of your perception as a speaker is from factors other than what you say!
The eyes communicate powerful cognitive messages. Presenters should not underestimate their ability to persuade an audience with their eyes. Following are tips to achieve better eye contact with an audience:
Facial expressions also communicate cognitive messages and emotions. They enhance your verbal communication by producing "feeling tone," the impression that you care about what you're saying.
The following tips will help you use facial expressions to increase your persuasiveness:
Hand gestures are important to emphasize words and emotions, illustrate verbal messages, or even replace verbal messages altogether.
Following are tips on using better hand gestures:
Posture is an important element of your body language because it can communicate your message with confidence.
Following are tips for achieving better posture:
No matter how well you prepare a presentation, problems sometimes occur. If this happens, you must improvise to salvage your presentation.
It is important that you remember the following when problems occur during your presentation:
Following are ways to handle specific problems that occur during presentations:
Audio-visual support problems
Evaluate your presentation afterward
Once you finish presenting, evaluate yourself within 24 hours. If you have ideas on how to strengthen your material, make the changes immediately while the ideas are fresh.
If you have ideas on how to strengthen your performance, make notes and implement these ideas with your next presentation.
Review any evaluations that you receive. Do not dwell on negative comments, but focus instead on your overall scores and averages in each category.
Randall P. Whatley, is a 26-year media veteran with diverse business experience. Whatley is president of Cypress Media Group, Inc. ( www.cypressmedia.net ), an Atlanta-based advertising, public relations, and training firm. He has extensive experience advising government officials, political candidates, public officials, and corporate executives on media relations and presentation skills. He has also written two syndicated newspaper columns and numerous magazine articles. Whatley has hosted his own television and radio program and appeared often as a TV and radio program guest, including a CNN appearance. He has produced hundreds of TV and radio ads and taught a myriad of seminars ranging from Public Relations Writing to Media Relations. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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