Own the room with presentations that deliver

Published September 8, 2016 3:38 pm by LoSasso

We’ve all been there—you get up in front of a group of people and you suddenly freeze. You feel like you’ve completely lost the ability to communicate well with others. Ticks like “ummm” and “like” start to come out of your mouth and you feel like you’ve lost all control.

Sound familiar?

A few weeks ago, some LoSassins participated in a presentations workshop with Clarity Central, a Minneapolis-based firm that specializes in communication and interpersonal skill development. The workshop, lead by Clarity Central founder Mike Foley, provided the opportunity to brush up on skills like speaking on the spot, persuading others and keeping attention. By the end of the seminar, we were all carrying ourselves with a little more confidence, and it definitely showed.

With attention spans getting shorter and shorter every day, getting your point across (in a formal presentation or internal meeting) is harder than ever. That being said, here are some tips for commanding a room with a powerful presence, persuading with clarity, passion and credibility and designing presentations that are tailored to address the needs and concerns with your audience.

The rule of three

All ideas must be organized if you want to persuade your audience. Instead of standing up in front of people and rambling on about an idea (and likely losing your train of thought and repeating yourself), organize your ideas using the “Rule of 3.” Here’s an example:

  • I have a few hobbies that I love to do when I’m not at work.
    • First, I love to hang out with my family
    • Second, I love to travel and explore
    • And third, I love trying new food and cocktails

See what I did there? I told the audience what to expect by using the word “few” (people like to know how many points there are ahead of time). Organizing your thoughts this way makes sure people know what ideas they should pay attention to.

The rule of three can be adapted to use with simple ideas or more complex ones. You can have sub-points under each point or examples for each point—but the spirit of the rule remains true no matter what you are trying to communicate.



It’s about the performance

If you want people to listen to you, you must exude confidence and preparedness. If people don’t think YOU believe what you’re talking about, no way will they listen to you. Here are some handy tips to remember:

  1. Make eye contact (but not in a creepy way)
    • Start with the friendly, engaged types and spend about two seconds of eye contact per person. Presentations should be an equal opportunity event, so make sure you treat everyone the same!
  2. Gestures—not too much vs. not enough
    • Try to kick those nervous habits. Don’t sway or grab anything. Make sure you have a neutral “hand stance”—this could be that you lightly grasp your hands in front of you. Most importantly, don’t think about your gestures—let them flow naturally!
  3. Stance and movement—no slouching
    • Stand up, stand tall and put those shoulders back (just like mom used to tell you). Be energetic! No pacing, rocking or wandering around.
  4. Voice—be loud and BREATHE

Here at LoSasso, we are all presenters in some way. Chances are, you are too. Join us in the challenge to follow the above principles. It will truly make a difference in your effectiveness as a communicator at work—and beyond.

Do you think that your business could benefit from a workshop like this? Contact Mike Foley at Clarity Central. We loved the seminar and have already seen some amazing results become evident in our work.