Whether you're presenting to a room full of investors or interviewing for your dream job, the way you present yourself through your posture, facial expressions, and gestures can make or break your pitch. In this article, we'll explore some tips and tricks for mastering body language in a pitch and common pitfalls to avoid.
Tip 1: Stand tall and confident
Good posture is essential for making a strong impression. Stand up straight, keep your shoulders back, and make sure your head is level. This will not only help you to project your voice more effectively but also communicate confidence and authority. Avoid slouching or leaning to one side, as this can make you appear uncertain or unconfident.
Tip 2: Make eye contact and use appropriate facial expressions
Facial expressions are an important part of nonverbal communication, and they can convey a wide range of emotions and messages. Make sure to maintain eye contact, it helps to build trust and credibility. Use appropriate facial expressions to match the tone of your pitch, whether it's enthusiasm, confidence, or authority.
Tip 3: Use gestures to reinforce your message
Gestures can also be used to reinforce your message and make your pitch more dynamic. However, it's important to use gestures appropriately and avoid overusing them. Keep your gestures natural and in proportion to your message. Avoid fidgeting or making distracting movements, as this can detract from your message.
Bonus tips: Make sure your right hand is free to shake hands. Offer your hand with your palm facing sideways. Smile and have fun.
Pitfall 1: Holding eye contact for too long
Holding eye contact during a pitch is an essential part of keeping the audience engaged, but how do you know when you’re over-doing it? Michigan State University recommends that you should maintain eye contact for 50% of the time while speaking and 70% of the time while listening. They suggest that the ideal amount of eye contact per person is between 4-5 seconds. This allows you to make meaningful connections with the audience while not being too distracting. Pay attention to the audience’s reactions and adjust your eye contact accordingly.
Pitfall 2: Distracting movements
Distracting movements, such as fidgeting or playing with your hair, can detract from your message and make you appear unconfident or unprepared. Keep your movements natural and avoid fidgeting or making distracting movements, as this can detract from your message.
Pitfall 3: Filler words and phrases
We've all been guilty of using filler words and phrases at some point, but when it comes to a pitch, it can be a real deal-breaker. Avoid using filler words such as "um," "ah," or "like" as it can make you sound uncertain and unprepared. Speak clearly and at an appropriate pace, and use inflection and emphasis to make your points more powerful.
Body language is a powerful tool that can make or break a pitch. By understanding the basics of nonverbal communication and using it effectively, you can make a more powerful and persuasive pitch. Remember to stand tall and confident, make eye contact, use appropriate facial expressions, make effective use of gestures and avoid filler words, and distracting movements.