Presentation Etiquette: 4 Tips for Improving Communication & Body Language

#1. Prepare to be quiet for a moment and LISTEN

When was the last time someone talked at you instead of with you? How did that feel? Boring, authoritative, and uninviting are a few words that come to mind. It’s important to have a conversation with your prospects and to make them feel heard.

“If you go in with the idea that you are just going to talk, talk, talk, and make the sale, it’s going to be a struggle. But if you go in with the idea that you are going to have a conversation and build a relationship with the prospect, you’ll have a much better success rate,” advises Wendy Weiss (aka “The Queen of Cold Calling”).

#2. Work the room when possible

Standing behind a podium or frozen at the front of the room screams high school world history teacher. If you feel comfortable, strut your stuff a little as you talk. With SlideShark, you can even use your iPhone as a clicker to control your slides from wherever you’re standing. If walking into a meeting with an iPad already makes a strong impression, just think about how cool presenting with your iPhone will look!

#3. Don’t turn your back on the customer

Figuratively and literally, this is not cool.  But for the sake of this conversation, make sure you are actually facing your audience. “Talking with your back to people – often seen hand-in-hand with looking back to read directly from your PowerPoint slides – is unprofessional at best, and outright rude at worst,” says sales expert Colleen Francis. “Don’t do it. Ever.”

#4. Slowww… down

Some people talk fast when they’re nervous. Oftentimes, they do it without even realizing (if you’re short of breath after a slide, that’s a clue.) Talking too quickly can not only make it difficult to understand what you’re saying (especially for those on the phone), it can make it difficult for your audience to interject with questions as well. Slow down and let your presentation breathe – and take a few extra breaths for yourself while you’re at it.

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