jump to navigation

Don`t talk, breathe instead 18 July, 2007

Posted by varoom in Selling.
add a comment

When presenting to potential customers or investors it’s important to relax and take time in your speech to breathe. If this is obvious, I’m sorry, but I coach a lot of presenters and many don’t see the significance of breathing.

Many inexperienced presenters take no account of how their breathing can affect delivery and breathing occurs randomly throughout their speech. Nerves can impact the pace of the presentation, time constraints can apply undue pressure, lack of preparation quickens the pulse and breathing rate.

Many people, when faced with a presentation time limitation, just talk faster! This speedy presentation delivery exacerbates the breathless state. Desperate breathing creates an image of nervousness, lack of confidence or even concealment. The audience then begins to study your behaviour and not pay attention to your messages.

First thing you need to do is refine and reduce the amount of information in your presentation to create room for breathing. Reducing the content does not mean removing important messages, unless time constraints are really fierce like in an elevator pitch, but drilling down to the exact message you want to convey with as few words as possible.

Another important consideration is presentation timing.

Like a stand up comic, timing is critical, pauses allow the audience thinking time and breathing time for you. What a comic does when telling a joke is time the punchline carefully and then pauses for effect and enjoys the feedback (laughter hopefully) from the audience. If he would begin the next joke immediately after the first the audience would have no time to absorb the punchline.

You can make the same mistake in your presentation. Structure your presentation to allow breathing time, pauses for important points, create gaps to allow time for your audience to accept your important messages. This timing will ensure a smoother breathing rate, a better delivery of your key messages and your audience will focus on your presentation not you.

Greville Commins