How to Avoid a Bad Impression with the Wrong Posture in Innovative Presentations - dummies

How to Avoid a Bad Impression with the Wrong Posture in Innovative Presentations

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

When you present an innovative presentation for an audience your posture speaks volumes. You want to make sure that what your posture is saying is positive. Here are four types of posture to avoid.

How to avoid the timid posture in innovative presentations

This posture is characterized by a stooped, slouched, or otherwise listless demeanor that suggests a lack of confidence, energy, or drive. You’ll never see dynamic leaders with this slouched posture.

[Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony]
Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony

How to avoid the too casual posture in innovative presentations

When you have both hands in your pockets, hunch over the lectern, sit on the edge of the table with one foot on the ground, or otherwise appear too relaxed, you risk projecting an image of conceit, indifference, or overfamiliarity with the audience.

With your hands in your pockets you seem passive, and what’s more, you can’t gesture. Holding your hands in a steepled position can convey overconfidence or a feeling of superiority.

[Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony]
Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony

How to avoid the stiff, uncomfortable, or defensive posture in innovative presentations

When you tightly press your legs together or cross them, hang your hands at your side or cup them in front of you, hold your body very rigidly, and have a serious facial expression, the audience senses that you’re ill at ease, frightened, or possibly inflexible.

Likewise, taking a military stance makes you seem as though you’re waiting for orders rather than ready to command an audience. When you cross your arms over your chest with a stern look, most people interpret this as being defensive or closed.

[Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony]
Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony

Clasping your hands together in a plea or prayer position (you may be doing that for real) or the meek fig leaf position, imply vulnerability and great discomfort and should be avoided.

[Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony]
Credit: Photograph courtesy of Ray Anthony

How to avoid the aggressive posture in innovative presentations

Although you don’t want to look meek or uncomfortable, standing rigidly with both hands on your hips, your legs far apart, your chin thrust up, and a taut expression on your face makes you appear to be a drill sergeant or an angry parent ready to scold rather than give a presentation. A stance like the one in the example communicates a domineering, overbearing, and opinionated personality.

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