6 Ways to Look More Confident During a Presentation - Deepstash
6 Ways to Look More Confident During a Presentation

6 Ways to Look More Confident During a Presentation

Harvard Business Review

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Introduction

Our idea is importance, so do the gesture. A study had studied some successful leaders across a range of fields and identified several positions which are indicators of effective, persuasive body language.

Here are the positive gestures:

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The Box

The Box

Early in Bill Clinton’s political career he would punctuate his speeches with big, wide gestures that made him appear untrustworthy. To help him keep his body language under control, his advisors taught him to imagine a box in front of his chest and belly and contain his hand movements within it. Since then, “the Clinton box” has become a popular term in the field.

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Holding The Ball

Holding The Ball

Gesturing as if you were holding a basketball between your hands is an indicator of confidence and control, as if you almost literally have the facts at your fingertips hands. Steve Jobs frequently used this position in his speeches.

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The Pyramid Hands

The Pyramid Hands

When people are nervous, their hands often flit about and fidget. When they’re confident, they are still. One way to accomplish that is to clasp both hands together in a relaxed pyramid. Many business executives employ this gesture, though beware of overuse or pairing it with domineering or arrogant facial expressions. The idea is to show you’re relaxed, not smug.

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Wide Stance

How people stand is a strong indicator of their mindset. When you stand in this strong and steady position, with your feet about a shoulder width apart, it signals that you feel in control.

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Palms Up

Palms Up

This gesture indicates openness and honesty. Oprah makes strong use of this during her speeches. She is a powerful, influential figure, but also appears willing to connect sincerely with the people she is speaking to, be it one person or a crowd of thousands.

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Palms Down

Palms Down

The opposite movement can be viewed positively too—as a sign of strength, authority and assertiveness. Barack Obama has often used it to calm a crowd right after moments of rousing oration.

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How To Improve

How To Improve

The next time you give a presentation, try to have it recorded, then review the video with the sound off, watching only your body language. How did you stand and gesture? Did you use any of these positions? If not, think about how you might do so the next time you’re in front of an audience, or even just speaking to your boss or a big client. Practice in front of a mirror, then with friends, until they feel natural.

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The right kinds of non-verbal communication did correlate with success. How can you send out the same signals—and hopefully generate the same success?

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