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3Magic Moves: How to physically influence your audience’s opinion

3Magic Moves: How to physically influence your audience’s opinion

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Techie Talks

Practising Your Presentation

8Practising Your Presentation


Loud and proud

There are two reasons why you need to practise aloud and not in your head:

• Only when you’ve practised aloud, and preferably run the content by someone else, will you

know if it makes sense to you and your audience. It means that the first official time you do

your presentation isn’t the first time you’ve done it.

• Running through sections aloud, will help you to remember and draft the content. You’ll

also be able to locate any ‘black holes’ where you get lost or stray from the point. These

black holes are usually in specific places but you won’t be able to find them between the

brain and the pen – you need to let the words come out the mouth. This is also a question

of muscle memory. If you practice the art of speech, you’ll remember what to say: it will be

in the bones


Using Notes

• If you do prompt cards too soon, you’ll be in danger of writing down prompts that throw

you or filling your cards up with script. Only when you’ve practised aloud will you know

what prompts you – and, indeed, if you need prompt cards at all.

• Number the cards and secure them for ease of use.

When using cards keep to the 4ì4 rule: four words to four bullets maximum for each card.

If you do need notes, double space them and keep them to a large font size so that they’re

easy to read. Try to mix notes with bullet points so you don’t end up reading.


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How to control nerves and get into the zone

9How to control nerves and get

into the zone


Posture Check

First impressions count so make sure that before you speak, you check your posture, ensuring your

shoulders are not pushed back or slump forward but open out. Rolling your shoulders back three times,

then raising and lowering them will help to open out the chest cavity. This in turn, not only aids looking

and feeling more confident but will facilitate easier breathing.


Tension often shows in the face so before you present relax the facial muscles by chewing a huge invisible

lump of gum. After this screw up the face, then open the mouth, eyes and raise eyebrows. Many presenters

look like startled rabbits caught in the car headlights. Do this exercise before speaking in public and you

will look and sound more expressive.


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How to control nerves and get into the zone

Breathing Exercises

Breathing from the abdomen instead of the upper chest, will increase breath capacity and vocal tension.

Abdominal breathing will also help you to relax before speaking.

To check that you are abdominal breathing:

Knot a tie or band around your abdomen. As you inhale, be aware of the stomach swelling, pressing

against the tie. When you exhale, the stomach will go inwards, loosening the tie. Keep your shoulders

down throughout and do not lift your chest.


Calming the Mind

About half an hour before you present, sit somewhere quiet and comfortable, and close your eyes.

Imagine that you are in the middle of a successful presentation. You are standing on a platform in front

of 100 people.

How do I look? – What are you wearing? A suit, jeans…? How are you moving? Are you very controlled

or animated?

How does my voice sound? – Is it using great dips and rises in pitch and/or volume? Are you chatty?

Do you have gravitas in your voice?

How do I feel? – Are you excited? Or very focussed? Do you feel infused with conviction? Is there a

friendly rapport between you and your audience?

Now at the end of the presentation, you are mixing with members of the audience. They are very

complimentary about your presentation. What are they saying to you?

Visualising a positive experience before you present, will increase the likelihood of a great outcome, as

you would have fooled the brain into thinking that you are only repeating what you have just imagined.


…and just before presenting…

• Take in a deep breath from the ribs and/or abdomen. Release the breath very slowly.

Continue doing this until you present to calm your nerves.

• Roll your shoulders

• Walk around before getting to your presentation spot. If you have the chance, walk around

the presentation area before the audience are there. This will help you to familiarise yourself

with the space and feel more comfortable in it.


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How to control nerves and get into the zone

• Stretch and clenching your hands, then shake them out to release the tension. This also

helps you to be aware of your hands so you’ll be more likely to use gesture during the


• Take a drink of water or eat an apple to moisten your throat

• Avoid nuts, seeds, chocolate before presenting. When you think, you’ve swallowed them,

they have a sneaky way of coming up and lodging in your throat, leaving you red-faced and

choking, only disappearing when your presentation’s over.

Challenge the way we run








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22-08-2014 12:56:57


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Get control, clarity and colour into your voice

10Get control, clarity and colour

into your voice


Being heard

• Stand up straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground, looking out at your audience.

This will help to ensure your voice carries to the back row.

• Open your mouth! Most people simply do not open their mouths enough. This decreases

vocal projection.

• Breathe from the abdomen and imagine a beam of light from there, channelling out of your

torso, throat and mouth, ‘zapping your audience’!

• If you look towards where you’re speaking, you’ll have a greater chance of being heard.

• Simply imagining you’re speaking in a vast stadium can help you increase your volume.

• Keep the vocal strength up to the end of the sentence. To avoid trailing off, think of pressing

on the final syllable of the final word of the sentence or phrase.

• Practice tongue twisters like ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’ and ‘She sells sea

shells on the sea shore’ to keep your speech distinct.


Keeping your audience with you

• Before you begin, inhale for ‘One elephant’ and then speak on the exhalation

• Especially at the opening of your presentation, use the pauses to breathe deeply. This will

then set the pace for the rest of your delivery.

• The use of pause will allow you to think ahead and give your audience time to assimilate

what you’ve just said.

• Pause is useful as it calms you, builds up anticipation in your audience and adds emphasis

to your delivery.

• Replacing filler words such as ‘um’ and ‘err’ with a pause will make you sound more



The pace of your delivery needs to vary otherwise it can sound rushed or boring. The optimum pace of

your delivery should be 125 words a minute. Practise reading into your mobile or other voice recorder

and if you’re still too fast then ensure you pause more and use the vowels. This will slow you down. By

hearing yourself back, you’ll realise what feels strange, probably sounds fine.


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Get control, clarity and colour into your voice

Using Vocal Emphasis to speak with greater Conviction

In order to use vocal emphasis effectively…

• use gesture in tandem with vocal emphasis

• vary vocal pitch and pause to underline important words/phrases

• maintain eye contact to the end of the sentence

• use the pause for emphasis


Emphasis Exercise

The emphasis you put on a word will draw your listener’s attention to meaning, adding conviction to

your speech. Meaning can vary, depending on where you add the emphasis. Try saying the following

sentence, highlighting the emboldened words.

I thought you wanted me to know

I THOUGHT you wanted me to know

I thought YOU wanted me to know

I thought you WANTED me to know

I thought you wanted ME to know

I thought you wanted me to KNOW

You’ll see how implication can completely change, depending on how you highlight a sentence or phrase.


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Using Confident Body Language

11Using Confident Body Language


Creating a strong presence

• Stand up straight with the chest open and shoulders low.

• Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground.

• Take a deep breath before you begin and make sure you establish eye contact with your

audience. This will command them to pay attention to you.

• Men tend to stand with their legs so far apart, it looks like they’ve lost their horses and

women have a tendency to try to make themselves look smaller and end up appearing like

choir girls. Check that the feet are a shoulder-width apart to avoid either of these stances,

ensuring that the arms don’t go into a ‘fig leaf ’ pose, whereby the speaker resembles a

footballer protecting his ‘assets’ during a penalty shoot-out. Imagine water dripping down

the arms and you’ll look more open and ready for action.


Moving naturally

• Use gesture on key words and phrases to add emphasis but sustain that gesture to the end of

the emphasis to maintain conviction. Watch the video here to see how this works.

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Using Confident Body Language

• Beware of fidgeting – Are you playing with a ring? Pulling at your tie? Brushing your hands

through your hair? Remove these unnecessary movements and you will look more confident

and in control.

• Keep gesture around torso level – too high and you could look ‘over the top’, too low

(around hip level) and this can make you look weak or uncommitted. Torso level gestures

look assertive but not aggressive.

• Avoid pointing at your audience. You can fold the finger into the hand to make you look less

accusatory or, even better, open the hand out.


Move to Relax and Signpost

• Like gesture, movement, if used effectively, can calm you and make you look more dynamic.

• Shift your balance when making a new point. This can signpost a transition in content to

your audience. Alternatively, you can move from one place to another to indicate a change

in mood or shift in subject.


Personal Eye Contact

• Divide your audience into three sections – left, centre and right. If you’ve a large audience

seated in many rows, think of front left, back left and so on. Aim phrases to one person in

each section. There doesn’t need to be any particular order of focus. Be aware of finding

different people in each section with which to establish eye contact. The basic rule is: a

phrase to a person. By being specific about where to look, you will actually engage the whole


• If it helps, imagine your eyes as lasers, zooming in on specific people, zooming out again

and focussing in on others.

• You might feel more comfortable ‘faking’ eye contact, especially at the beginning. The rule

of thumb is that the further you are from the audience the higher your focus can be. This

means that if you’re on a platform looking down at your audience, you can be establishing

eye contact with their foreheads and they’ll think you’re looking them in the eye!


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How to deal with ‘blanking’

12How to deal with ‘blanking’

• Gesture to draw out words from your head – something will occur to you until you find the

next point.

• Move from one position to another. If you move you’ll breathe, and this will clear the

thought process, buy you time and make you look more confident.

• Pause: as long as you don’t look nervous if you lose the thread, the audience will be likely to

think you’re pausing for effect!

• Combining gesture, movement and pause will help you achieve greater presence. So while

your mind’s going like a rolodex, you audience will be impressed by your calm authority!

• Do what you do when you lose your house keys: retrace your steps. Recap what you’ve just

said and you will pinpoint what to say next.




Note: If you make ‘a mistake’, the only person likely to notice is you!







Discover the truth at www.deloitte.ca/careers

© Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities.

Discover the truth at www.deloitte.ca/careers

Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities.

© Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities.

Discover the truth

43 at www.deloitte.ca/careers

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The 5-minute deal maker

13The 5-minute deal maker


I’ve got to persuade my boss to follow a strategy in a meeting that’s coming up. How can I persuade him

quickly that what we need to do is a good idea?


Go for the PROEP Model of persuasion

Proposal (Outline): We need to bring in more Sales people alongside the Tech teams for Calypso.

Reasons (3 max!): We’ll have easier access to a large market.

Objections: (inc. cost, time, effort. Remember to build in a way of countering those objections): I

understand that the upfront costs may seem off-putting. Although many of our teams are great on-site,

they’re not up-selling and cross-selling at the rate we’d like. We’d get more business with less hassle with a

specialist or two.

I know that many Sales people brush the IT teams up the wrong way but with someone who’s got a proven

record at winning business in our sector and sells our skills accurately, we’d see profits without the pain. I

can get in touch with Tech Talent Recruitment that could find just the right people for us.

Evidence: [Our Competitor] has had a dedicated team just selling Murex services to the finance sector.

Although they started 8 months ago, they’ve seen 56% profit in the last 6 months.

Proposal: So, in my view, taking on more Business Development expertise could potentially double our

profits within half a year.

A note about ‘Evidence’:

This depends on how any one individual tends to be persuaded. Consider that any of the following

points could be evidence:

a) Something similar you’ve achieved before;

b) Something someone else has achieved before;

c) Statistics: projected or otherwise.

d) The sight of something – a picture/walkabout etc.

There are more but this will cover most persuasive arguments. Making a suggestion which shows

recognition of any objections and how you could counter them will fend off much of the hesitation to

proceed and allow you to put a plan into action quicker.


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Presenting Using PowerPoint

14Presenting Using PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a visual and just one item on the Spice Rack™. If you do need it, then take into account

these rules to make the best use so that it doesn’t become an onslaught of bullet points, dry data and

confusing graphs that muddy your message.


1. remember that you are your most important visual aid;

2. move within your space – to give yourself a more confident presence;

3. take your time to change slides – pause and allow the audience to take in what is on the

screen before speaking;

4. keep the text down to a minimum – it will allow you more opportunity for your own value

added input. Research has shown that ideas are much more likely to be remembered if

they are presented as pictures instead of words or pictures paired with words. Think about

a presentation you’ve attended where you have remembered a slide with 6 bullet points. It

would probably be less effort to recall a captivating image. Psychologists call this the Picture

Superiority Effect (PSE), the point of which is thus:

If information is presented orally, people remember about 10% of the content 72 hours later. That

figure goes up to 65% if you add a picture;

5. include colour and visuals to add variety to your slides;

6. ensure you have tested the equipment before the presentation;

7. find out if the screen is front or back lit otherwise your head could become the projection


8. have as many visuals as you need. PowerPoint has the same effect as a film soundtrack.

When you watch a film you rarely have any awareness of how many tracks were played in

the film until you see the credits. This is because the music and content are so integral to

each other, you do not see or hear them as one entity. Likewise, there’s never such thing as

‘too many slides’, as long as your message is loud and clear.


1. say too much/read everything on the screen – consider the impact on your audience;

2. direct your presentation to the screen with your back to the audience;

3. rush through the slides – one per minute is the fastest you should go;

4. stay rooted to the spot – anchored to your PC/OHP – try to step away when you speak to

define your space – you will appear more in control;


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