Did you know that about 55% of communication is non-verbal (body language) and only 7% is actually verbal?
You can read more about this on an amazing SlideShare presentation by Rashmi Shahu. Body language, therefore, has a huge impact on how a presentation is received. A good learning is that you should “stand” up when you present. It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but this simple decision can elevate the impact of your presentation.
So, why is it so important to “stand up”?
Lead the pack Standing up demonstrates authority and positions you as the expert. Do this to gain trust and confidence. Stand in a naturally upright position. It signifies that you are an approachable leader. Choose a comfortable distance from your audience so as not to invade their privacy.
Keep their attention Avoid your audience from tuning off by standing up and being visible. Choose a bright spot where you can be clearly seen and heard. Movement attracts the eye. So, you can try confident hand gestures or even pacing around the room.
Highlight key points Standing up allows you the opportunity to highlight an important point in your presentation. You can walk up to the screen and pin point a number, fact or detail that you really want the audience to pay attention to.
Eye contact You have a much better chance of giving and receiving eye contact by standing up. It symbolizes attention- a basic human need. Show that you are genuinely interested in your audience. Try to give eye contact with each and every individual. Look at them with confidence, but not with arrogance.
Judge audience sentiment If you are standing up, you will be in a good position to determine how your audience is reacting to you and your presentation. Are they tuning off? Are they hiding behind their laptops or texting on their phones? It gives you the ability to react and intervene. Maybe its time for a coffee break!
Standing up while you present has clear benefits. Assert your leadership and authority and let the audience know that they can trust and confide in you. Try this in your next presentation and see the difference for yourself.