The Presentation - First Impression Count!

Moment des Auftritts

First impressions count. Body language and outward appearance speak straight to the audience. A purposeful gait, open, direct eye contact with guests, and perhaps a welcoming nod of acknowledgement, all convey self-confidence. The key to effective connection lies in the ability to be confident without being arrogant. 

Excellent speakers visibly thrive on stage. They have charisma. Their positive internal attitude and passion for the subject carry over into the auditorium. Below are a few mental phrases (thoughts) that will directly boost charisma when public-speaking: 

  • "It’s an honor and pleasure for me to be here today." 
  • "I warmly welcome you all." 
  • "I have an important message for you." 
  • "I’m curious to hear your opinion." 

Taking delight in the performance means being able to enjoy these very elements during the presentation. Think of an actor who inspires, motives and energizes you. They do more than just put on a perfectly prepared performance; they fully become their role. They are acutely aware of their lines and the people around them, are connected to the play’s message, and have enough scope to demonstrate their own personality in it. 

Greeting guests 

Your presenting starts with you greeting your guests. Consciously shift your attitude from focusing on your presentation to adopting the role of host. Welcome your entire audience and keep track of everything. Address individuals by making personal contact with them. 
 

Getting in the mood 

Before starting your presentation, allow yourself a brief period of concentration to collect yourself and adopt the high level of presence needed for the performance. Ideally, you will have been focusing your energy on cultivating presence before you left home. This enables you to activate and increase it within seconds when in the presentation room. The process is comparable to that of an actor preparing their performance behind the stage curtain. 
 

Behind the curtain: 

  • Upright posture 
  • Grounding, feet making contact with the floor 
  • Breathing through the “column of breath” – develop physical presence 
  • Visualize the space around your body – develop physical spatial presence 
  • Focus your attention on the audience – develop contact presence 
     

Once the curtain rises: 

  • Position yourself 
  • Consciously assume roles 
  • Follow the stage-direction plan moment by moment 
     

The presentation starts with the convincing overall impression conveyed by the speaker. They are aware of their objectives, impress with their present, appreciative vibe, and look forward to the performance and engaging with the audience. 

Once the presentation begins and everyone in the room is focused on the speaker, stage fright almost always sets in. Many speakers try to internally push through it and start the presentation straight away. But the purpose of a greeting is precisely to establish contact with the audience. 

You can create a much more powerful impression by once again taking a full, deep breath. Start with a pause. Greet your guests openly, and take a moment to read their faces. This will connect you to your listeners, and allow you to observe the atmosphere in the room. 

Everyone loves appreciation and attention. So ideally choose opening words that will make your audience instantly feel they are being addressed personally; establish a personal connection. But you can also create highly present connection just through eye contact and the sound of your voice. Demonstrate your professionalism and enthusiasm right from the start, and leave a personal impression. 

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