You’re giving a presentation in the morning, perhaps to clients, perhaps an internal meeting. Your notes are ready, your slides are prepared, you’ve rehearsed. What could be missing?

To quote from Maya Angelou, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

How will you leave your audience feeling? Think of some of the best presentations that you’ve experienced. Of course the content is important, but I’ll lay odds that part of that experience for you as a member of the audience is how the presenter made you feel welcome, and feel engaged.

Top Tip: remember to smile!

Easy to say, and easy to dismiss as obvious. But when the nerves strike, when the adrenaline is racing, we do need to remember the basics, remember to do when we’re presenting what we would automatically do in day to day interaction.

Here’s an experiment for you. When you are next in conversation around the table, whether in a meeting or at home, deliberately smile and watch for the reaction. More times than not, a good percentage of the people around the table will automatically smile back at you, simply because you smiled at them.

Remember this as you stand up to deliver your presentation; smile at the audience, and a proportion of the audience will automatically smile back at you. Simply by remembering to do something you would instinctively do in a 1-2-1 meeting, you’ve just helped with the engagement with your audience, helped your audience better remember you. And all you did was smile….

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