Whether it is your first presentation or you’re a seasoned public speaker, your audience will be forming their opinion of you and your presentation from the second they lay eyes on you. We’re not telling you this to purposefully strike fear into your soul, but to remind you of the importance of first impressions and how they can help, and unfortunately, sometimes hinder your presentation.
So we’ve collected our top 5 tips on how to make a good first impression for your presentation because a good presentation will lead to increased sales.
Make yourself presentable
What you wear will depend a lot on the industry you are working in and who you are presenting to… but then again it always pays off to be smart and tidy looking. Make sure your clothes are clean and smart and that above all you are comfortable with what you are wearing. If you are wearing the smartest suit or the perfect dress, but you are uncomfortable, your audience will be able to tell and it will affect your presentation adversely. Make sure you are confident in your appearance and this confidence will rub off on your audience and their opinion of you.
One of the best ways to make a great first impression is to smile! This simple act will make you seem open and relaxed and positive about the presentation you are about to give and happy to see your audience.
Utilise your body language
Most people don’t think about their body language, it is just a subconscious thing we don’t pay much attention to day to day. But the good news is with a few quick adjustments you can great first impression through your own body language in front of your audience. Make sure you are standing straight and tall, with your shoulders back and your head tall, though make sure you are still slightly relaxed, not standing to attention. Try not to cross your arms in front of you or stand with your hands on your hips or you’ll appear a little like a schoolteacher scolding their students.
Make eye contact
If you don’t have a chance to greet your audience personally, say if you are in front of a large crowd, try your best to still make eye contact with your audience members. Eye contact will make your audience members feel more connected to you and what you are saying and will also make you seem more trustworthy. If you are nervous this may be the last thing you want to do, but casting your gaze around the back of the room or into the air makes you not only appear as nervous as you are, but may make you seem nonchalant or uninterested in what you have to say and how your audience are reacting.
Speak clearly and confidently
When introducing yourself to your audience, and for the rest of your presentation for that matter, remember to speak loudly and clearly and with confidence. Muttering or speaking to the floor or missing the microphone will give the worst possible first impression and will taint the rest of your presentation. As we mentioned before, smile as you speak to your audience and remember throughout to elevate your voice and don’t rush your speech – they’re here to hear what you have to say.
If you remember all of these tips you are bound to make a great first impression which will hopefully lead to a successful presentation. Think about other great public speakers – even if you have to YouTube a few videos – or how others make an impression on yourself and try to take as much from that as you can. If you are still unsure, then why not check out our top ten tips for nervous public speakers.
Do you have any other tips to make a good first impression?