6 Ways to Look (and Feel) More Confident During a Presentation

How can you come across as a more confident group member? Or, if you’re leading a group and you need people to pay attention, how do you feel more confident from the stage?

In this video, Michael Grinder, the pioneer of nonverbal communication, discusses six ways to look (and feel) more confident during a presentation. Whether you’re on the virtual stage or leading a small group, these tips will help you succeed.

6 Ways to Look (and Feel) More Confident During a Presentation

Read the modified transcript to “6 Ways to Look (and Feel) More Confident During a Presentation” below:

You know, you could be at a meeting, you’re just a committee member. You’re doing maybe business casual. You want to make a point, and you want them to listen to you.

My name’s Michael Grinder. How do you come across as confident in this kind of setting?

Or you could be presenting a little more professional, a larger group. You’re not just a member of the group, you’re the leader.

But what if you’re in a situation that could be professional, in front of a large group, or just casual, a member of the group? What’s the difference?

In one case, you’re trying to contribute, you want people to listen to you.

The other one, you’re leading them.

They’re going to be watching your body language. They want to know what your face looks like, how your voice sounds, how do you move? How do you hold your gesture as you talk?

You want them to see you as confident, and you want to gain their confidence in you.

So let’s talk about how that happens, in both situations.

The difference is the exaggeration, the amplification of your face, your voice, and your body. For example, if it’s a large group, I have to hold my voice a little louder. I have to have my hand come out farther in terms of a gesture.

But if it’s a smaller group, I have to bring it back in. I have to talk softer.

So just amplification, that’s all it is, is what volume do they want? It’s based on the size of the group.

Now, with that in mind, let’s look at the different parts.

You want to be confident. Why?

So that you get permission to lead them.

And when you’re speaking, they’re watching you like crazy.

So let’s look at this.

However you are, as a style of talking, it’s perfectly okay, as long as you know how to use your hands.

And guys, get them out of your pockets. It won’t work down here, you’ve gotta have your hands out.

Ladies tend to have an easier time gesturing than men, but what they have to be careful of, they can’t extend it too far out based on the size and demographics of the audience. So they’ll just be a little closer to their torso, and men will be a little bit farther out. That’s the only difference.

So when you are seated, stay close. When you’re standing, extend out. Male and female, it doesn’t matter.

Now, what else you want to do is you want to understand your baseline.

If you have a certain volume, if you want to mark off something, that, “I really want them to remember this!” You have to change your volume and your speed.

For example, if I went like this, “That’s why this is important.”

Now, what I just did was, you can practice this. “That’s why,” I stepped forward. I hadn’t stepped forward before, so I changed my body language. I had my hand come up this way. I dropped my chin down, and I dropped my volume and almost whispered.

Watch again.

“That’s why…” and drop that chin down.

So the set of skills are amazing.

Whatever your baseline, what you always seem to do — you can never make a strong impression with that.

You have to go outside.

So you can get louder if you want, you can, but I recommend go softer, it really impresses them.

The other thing that they’re going to do is really watch you. How well do you pause? It actually doesn’t seem very intelligent to them and they don’t feel very safe in here.

So what happens is you have to make sure you slow down, but when you slow down, you have to make sure you pause. If you pause and then you talk, they don’t buy it.

So how do you occupy the pause?

You occupy it with your hand.

So when you are talking, talk with your hands, and then when you come to the pause, freeze the hand wherever it might be, that occupies them.

It allows you to breathe, allows them to breathe.

Now you both seem intelligent.

Why?

Because you’re breathing? Yes, because you’re breathing.

Then when you come to the important part, such as, “That’s why,” pause a little bit longer, then extend the hand out as you say, “why it’s important.” Pause a little bit more after you’ve said your big, exciting, inspirational line, and then bring it back.

What a difference it makes.

You’ll be amazed that when you drop your chin, you’re going to get some other benefit.

Watch.

If I have my chin here and I drop it down, my pupils get high in my eye socket and that looks cool.

Males and females, same thing. Drop your chin down, leave it still as you deliver your most important message.

What are the 6 ways you can look (and feel) more confident while you’re presenting?

  1. Make sure if you are seated, you keep your gestures close. If you were standing, you amplify out.
  2. Always use your hands when talking, it makes a huge difference.
  3. Baseline. Whatever your regular behavior is, how’s your face, how’s your voice, how’s your body, make sure you change it when you come to the biggest important thing that you wanna put across. The examples we gave were maybe having your (3a) foot step forward, shift your body weight. Maybe (3b) have your chin come down, (3c) drop your volume, almost to a whisper, but keep changing those behaviors from your baseline to make the big impact that you want. If you’re going to come across as intelligent, and that’s part of what is equated with being confident, got to pause.
  4. Pause, use your hands, and (4a) freeze them during the pause.
  5. When you come to the important thing you want to say, the big impact, pause just before you say it, and then just after.
  6. Remember, drop that chin down to get the pupils high.

Six skills that we want you to practice so you come across as confident when you’re in public.

Michael Grinder here, practice.

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