Presentation Terms


This is the most important group to consider when planning a presentation. Without an audience, what would be the point of presenting?(


Think of benefits as the main course. They are the most important details for you to share. Prepare a list of benefits by asking: what will the audience gain by listening to you or by accepting your recommendation?(


Repetitive gestures, non-words, nervous movement such as rocking and pacing, and other distractions make it harder for you to present your key messages. Become aware of unconscious ways that speakers distract
their audiences.


When you play in doubt, doubt wins. (see Playing Soft) To counter, avoid using qualifying words that undermine confidence, such as can, might, think, or should.


Most audiences prefer to watch a presentation where the speaker is clearly making an effort to connect with the audience. Energy comes out as vocal variety, gestures and facial expression, helping you show passion and gain positive listener response. Energy is also a great mask, effectively covering up nervousness.

Eye Contact

Maintain eye contact with individual audience members long enough to complete your thought (3-5 seconds), rather than shifting your gaze from side to side.

Facial Expression

Use smiles, frowns, and other varied expressions to keep your audience engaged. Take a tip from stage actors: bigger audiences call for bigger expressions.

The Fundamentals

There are eight fundamentals that will impact how every speaker is perceived by an audience. Great speakers learn to excel in each area: energy, eye contact, facial expression, gestures, movement, non-words, pauses and speaking pace. Click here to see them all in one place.


Use natural movements of your arms, hands and body to emphasize your main points. Avoid actions such as pointing, arms crossed or on your hips, or playing with your fingers.


This is a misunderstood objective. Many people we work with mistakenly believe they are informing their audience when they really need to persuade their audience.


The first minute or two of your presentation, where you grab attention and “tell them what you’re going to tell them.” Start off with an effective POW! Statement, state your case, and share the benefits.(


Reality. It’s never wrong. Get it? Good speakers use techniques such as The Fundamentals to impact how they are perceived by their audience.(


A vital objective in almost every presentation: most speeches are delivered to convince audiences to take on a specific belief, cause or action. Don’t ever confuse this with informing.(


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