Ovation Team Member Jason Bayle reflects on a recent training experience and offers quick thoughts on the question, "Habit or choice?"
Recently, I had the great fun of coaching speakers at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. WPC is a huge event, with close to 20,000 attendees from all over the globe. As we rehearsed, I found myself repeating similar feedback to each of my speakers in response to their physicality: Are you making a choice to do that, or is that a habit?
Too often, our physical habits creep into presentations and shade our message in ways that we don't mean. A lean, or cross of the arms speaks volumes about how we feel, about our message, about where we are, and even the audience. The great thing about confronting your physical habits is that it allows you take control of your entire message, not just what you say, but how you say it.
If you feel like your presentations aren't landing, or you're looking for that extra "oomph" that sets great speakers apart, here's a presentation skills training tip: set up a video camera and take a closer look at what you're doing physically. Then ask yourself if you're making those physical choices to be expressive, or if your body is stuck in a rut. Understanding the difference and building your awareness of these moments will take your presentation and confidence to the next level.
(BTW - the picture features one of Jason's fabulous speakers, Kris Plachy, putting that presentation skills training to good use!)
Want more of a deep dive into presentation physicality? Check this out: