So how do you get better control over your body language when you're giving a speech or presentation? And I'll define this as you're talking to more than a couple of people. It's something on an agenda. It's not somebody just asking you a question and you talk, you're giving a speech or presentation, not necessarily PowerPoint. We'll cover that in the next lecture. But you're giving a speech, you have some set of core content.
What are the body language tips you need to follow? Well, the biggest one, as I've talked about in the last couple of videos, is you're never ready to give a presentation to anyone in the workplace, unless you've actually practiced it on video, and looked at it and gotten it to the point where you like how you're coming across. If you do that, it solves virtually all problems. But let me give you even more specifics. But the biggest problem for so many people in the workplace especially They're not really seasoned, experienced presenters is they think of a presentation or a speech as an opportunity to dump a tremendous amount of data. So what happens is, they're now reading all sorts of papers, their head is down the reading quickly, bla bla, bla, bla, the monotone sets in no eye contact, no movement, and it creates this negative chain reaction.
Everything shuts down with your body language. You're not looking at people. You're not pausing. You're not gesturing. You're not moving. Nothing's happening except words coming out of your mouth in an unnatural speech pattern.
Unnaturally quickly, way too fast, too monotone, and it just puts people to sleep or these days. Everyone has a great plan B. If you're in a business meeting, and you're giving a boring presentation, it's called Let me check my email and see where am I going to go to dinner. Tonight, one of my pals up to, my spouse wants me to pick up. Don't give people an opportunity to do that, if you're ignoring them, they're going to ignore you. Most people now and this is clearly not a body language class for dating and singles people, but you've probably heard you're on a date.
You don't ignore your date and start playing with your cell phone. If you expect your date to think very highly of you. You can't ignore your date across a dinner table and expect them to get you attention. Well, it's no different when you're giving a speech or a presentation. I know it feels different. But if you ignore your audience, they're going to ignore you.
So you need to be looking at your audience most of the time. Well, TJ, how do I remember what to say? Quick Tip, the easiest way to remember what to say is not to stay up late. memorizing That's hard, that's difficult. Most cases, it's not going to be practical to bring a teleprompter everywhere. And if you read bullet points off of a PowerPoint, that is the kiss of death, the easiest way to be comfortable when you're presenting is to condense everything to a single sheet, a single sheet sheet, very large font.
Now, my vision isn't particularly good, but I've made the font large enough that I don't have to put my glasses on. It's just two or three words for each line. Therefore, I don't have to read and find the right paragraph and figure out where to start. And I just go right to the beginning. So this is actually an outline for a presentation I give that's an hour long because it's a single sheet of paper. I don't have to turn pages.
Because it's a single sheet of paper in large font. I don't have to stop Each time Hold on, then down, put my glasses on all of those distracting things. I can just glance down occasionally. This also gives me the ability and there here's the real secret sauce when it comes to body language when you present because it's all in a single sheet. And I know what's coming, I can actually walk around the room. Do you have to walk around the room when you're giving a presentation?
No. But all great professional speakers do that. If you do it, it's going to make you look so much more relaxed, comfortable and confident because nervous speakers never do that. They grab the lectern for dear life who let me stand behind this case someone wants to throw rotten fruit at me case I'm horrible. Don't stand behind a lectern, the person behind you might. The person who speaks after you might you don't have To speak behind a lectern.
Now you don't have to be running all around the room and be putting on a big show. But just even walking a couple of feet to your left and a couple feet to your right, will make you look so much more relaxed, comfortable and confident. Here's an advanced tip. Now it's three times the technology budget, but wildly effective, what I do with my own notes, I have three identical sheets of paper with my notes. So instead of two cents for a sheet of paper, it's six cents for three sheets of paper. And I'll have these scattered throughout the room, one on the lectern, one on a table 20 feet away one even in the back of the room.
So if I'm speaking for an hour, I could be walking around the whole time and it's as if I'm just having a conversation with the audience. This way it takes all the pressure off of my memory, because I know I've got a roadmap When I'm freed up from worrying about how to remember, I don't have to scrunch up my face and think, oh, what's next? What's next? let me worry about I can just be in the moment. And I can look at people in the audience. Eye contact is a very powerful thing when you're presenting.
There's basically three types of eye contact when you're giving a speech or a presentation. And it is a little different than if it's just one on one or you're in a meeting with two people. The bottom 1% of speakers, they're staring at the floor, or they're just reading their bullet points are they're looking at their computer screen or they're just staring at a script. They're completely ignoring you. A colleague of yours could stand up on the table light his or her hair on fire, and you'd never notice because you're just staring at your text. That's what the bottom 1% of speakers do.
Then there's the next sort of 98.9% of speakers. They're doing some version of the windshield wiper. Especially if they're talking to more than 10 people. They're looking at the whole crowd the whole time. So when you're in the audience, you never feel like that speaker, that colleague, that presenter is really talking to you. And because of that you feel anonymous.
It's almost like you're in a dark room. Well, what do you like to do when you're in a dark room and something isn't that exciting. You check, email, text, Facebook. You don't want that to happen. You don't want people to think you're ignoring them, therefore, it's okay for them to ignore you. So the real secret with body language when it comes to your eyes when you're presenting is you want to lock eyes with one person for a full thought.
Just a couple sentences. Then go to another person in the room, lock eyes with that person for a full thought. And guess what? Oh no. person, it needs to be random. It can't be Boom, boom, boom, boom, that makes you seem like a robot.
So let me clarify because people miss hear this. They say, Oh, so TJ, you're just saying, Look at one friendly face the whole time on the front row. Now, that would be weird. If I'm staring at one person for five minutes, that's gonna weird that person out. Plus, everyone else will feel ignored. What I'm suggesting is, it's proportional.
Normally, if your eyes are scanning, you're only looking at someone for a 10th of a second or a fifth of a second because they're your eyes are moving the whole time. So if you actually stop and say a sentence or two to one person, that's only for five seconds, but proportionally, it's so much bigger than the eye scan. That person's going to feel like wow. She really spoke to me. He spoke to me, it forces them to pay attention that feels like you care about about them, that's gonna make them want to care more about you. That's what we're trying to do in any form of business communication.
We're trying to get people to pay attention, have the sense that we care about them and make them want to work with us. Now, the beauty of this method is, in so many business situations, you're asked to speak for 510 minutes, and there's fewer than 20 people in the room. You can get every single person in the room, individualized eye contact, because it's only five seconds per person. So that's an awful lot of people you can connect with every single minute. Now, this technique even works if you're asked to speak at a large business conference, let's say it's an annual convention or an international convention. You're on a stage at a big Convention Center, bright lights on you and it's dark out there.
You can't even see people Believe it or not, this technique still works. You just pick one spot 20 feet out, you hold that for a full thought. Then you get to another part of the audience. And you look out there and 20 people in that area will all feel like Wow, she really spoke to me. These people Wow, he really spoke to me. So it still works.
And to everyone else, you look more confident. Because so many speakers even if their hand gestures are good, even if their voice is good, when they're in front of a lot of people, they have this kind of lost Look, they're looking at this mass sea of humanity. And so many elements of their body language may be just right in their hands, to body, their movement, their voice, but if their eyes just look like they're in total amazement and lost and nervous, that's gonna undercut their message. So those are the basics of how you can really improve your body language. When it comes to giving presentations, and speeches, I'll give you more tips on the specifics of PowerPoint and other speaking situations in following lectures.