Many HOA Board members present information at annual meetings, committee gatherings and other HOA events. Do you know that verbal communications only account for about 35% of how the audience perceives your message (words, tone, inflection, etc.)? The remaining 65% consists of non-verbal communication clues. If there’s a disconnect in your communications, look at your body language.
Get Organized. Put speaking references in order before your presentation. Leafing through pages or searching for points conveys a lack of preparation. Just a few minutes to jot down important numbers or organize notes help you present information more confidently. Then, you can concentrate on keeping your audience engaged.
Stand Tall. You should stand or sit straight when presenting, but be natural. Don’t be rigid or robotic. Look at your imaginary line to make sure you are straight. Keep your head up. This helps the audience hear you better, and it’s easier to make eye contact.
What’s On Your Face? Facial expressions should convey your topic. If you are delivering a happy message, your facial expression should be pleasant. You show concern for a serious topic. Just like when you’re talking one-on-one, let your facial expressions reflect what you say.
Make Eye Contact. Moderate your eye contact to connect with different audience members for a brief moment. Intense eye contact can be intimidating while too little contact indicates disinterest. Moderation is the key for engaging with your audience.
Use Gestures. Some gestures such as playing with a pen are distracting. Folding your arms comes across as defensive. Be relaxed and open while using gestures to emphasize points in your presentation. Relevant spontaneous gestures are the most effective in keeping your audience engaged. People remember facts easier when they are attached to a specific action or gesture.
Is there an association event on your calendar? Remind your HOA Board members about the importance that body language plays in communication. Try some of these tips to connect better with your audience.