In today's difficult economy, audiences are more sceptical than ever. So this means that authenticity has become an important attribute. When a speaker has it, he/she can inspire the audience to make important buy-in decisions.
1. Match the Verbal with the Non-verbal:
If your verbal message does not match your body language the audience will usually respond and believe what the non-verbal message is saying. To match both elements ... rehearse.
Know exactly what you want to say and say it. By 'winging' the presentation your body language will most certainly undermine your credibility. Find out what the audience' needs are and only then incorporate the content that matches.
3. Be yourself:
When you rehearse specific gestures, it leads to a 'canned show' that screams out loud "This is not you". Audiences subconsciously become aware of this insincerity and consciously start looking for other signals that confirms their suspicions. They then come to the realisation that the speaker is not authentic and the result of this - no buy-in.
Never rehearse in front of a mirror as your image will become a distraction. Rather video yourself and review after each rehearsal. Focus on your casual spontaneity that reflects your authenticity. Feel your presentation and allow it to come from deep within as this will be mirrored in your body language.
5. Create openness:
Rehearse with someone you are completely relaxed with and make a special note of what it feels like and how you are coming across. Continue practicing this and remember these feelings. The more comfortable and relaxed you become, the more authentic you will come across. This is what the audience look for.
6. Create audience connection:
Rehearse the presentation again with the same feelings, but this time focus on the need to engage the audience. Your goal is to keep their attention. Modulate your voice, project it further, speak with the intensity the presentation deserves, use more natural and appropriate gestures, move closer to the audience, etc.
7. Authenticity is passion:
To create the passion, you must first discover how you really feel about the content. What excites you about the subject? How desperately should your audience want what you are offering? Focus on why you are presenting this subject rather than the content itself. Allow your emotions to show with each word and memorise this intensity.
8. Create audience attitude:
During the last few rounds of the rehearsals, focus on imagining the audience's attitude towards you, your company and your presentation and imagine looking for signs of their response towards you. Continue focusing on this as you want to enhance this emotional state throughout the actual presentation.
9. Authenticity control:
During the actual presentation, put into practice the feelings, emotions and attitudes you developed during the various rehearsals. Try taking control of the audience's responses by reading their body language signals and then asking impromptu questions, alter your pace, vocal quality, language patterns, etc.