Quality of content aside, how you use your body during your real estate presentation while delivering your message could sell or sink you.
Luckily there are only five categories to focus on, and you don’t have to master them all at once. Start with two and add the others as you become comfortable and skilled with the basics. The five categories are:
- Eye contact
- Facial expressions
- Movement and position
When your body language is congruent with your message, it gives your presentation authenticity, which resonates with your audience.
1. Eye Contact
Utilizing effective eye contact will build rapport with your audience during your presentation and put both your audience and you at ease. If you’re not in the habit of making eye contact during presentations, here are two general tips to get your started:
- If presenting in front of a large audience, make eye contact with each section of the room. Be strategic with your eye contact during your presentation. Mark the sections of your presentation when you will shift your eye contact to another section of the audience, so that you have looked at everyone (or every section of the room) at least once.
If you are presenting in front of a small audience, follow the same tactic, however, look at individuals briefly. If looking directly in their eyes makes you too nervous, you can look at their foreheads to start, and then make eye contact when you become more comfortable
- Make sure your eye contact is brief, and keep your gaze moving, so that individuals do not have the impression you are staring at them or trying to make them feel uncomfortable
2. Facial Expressions
There is a reason we want to meet people face to face. Communicating over the phone or on social media/email doesn’t provide the same vibe as meeting someone in person. When you meet someone in the flesh, you are basing your judgements of their credibility, sincerity, trustworthiness and accessibility. You make those judgements on your impressions of their facial expressions and body gestures. Here’s an interesting website on decoding facial expressions https://www.scienceofpeople.com/microexpressions/.
When presenting, your facial expressions need to match your message and content. Here are three tips to use as a guide:
- Do ensure your facial expressions are setting the tone for your presentation. When you walk on stage, you may be feeling nervous, make eye contact and smile at the audience to let them know you are welcoming them and are glad to be there
- Mark your presentation (during your practice sessions) with the tone you want to convey
- We all have our own way of showing emotions, however, when you’re on the stage, sometimes facial expressions need to be slightly exaggerated for the audience to see/read them
- Practice your presentation in front of a trusted friend/colleague who can give you honest feedback about whether or not your face is matching your words and/or video tape yourself to see if your face is conveying expression or has fallen into resting position
Can you think of a public figure you admire? When they walk on the stage, do they have a confident, upright posture throughout their presentation, or do they slouch? Posture plays an important role in showing your audience you have the confidence to deliver on your promises. These four tips will help build your awareness:
- Look at yourself when you are in a relaxed yet upright position. This is your ideal posture. Standing in an unnaturally rigid position will feel uncomfortable and unnatural and will not win the audience’s trust
- Match and mirror your posture to the level of formality or casualness of the audience. Delivering a presentation in front of a board of directors is different than presenting on a panel to a group of school children at a career day. Adjust your posture (sitting, more open) for a more informal presentation and standing, upright to a more formal presentation
- Find out in advance whether you will have a lectern, microphone, chair etc. beforehand so that you can adapt to the presentation/audience requirements
The dictionary definition of gestures is “ a movement of part of the body, especially a hand or the head to express an idea or meaning.” The key here is a movement, not a mannerism. We all have mannerisms; a redundant hand gesture, pacing, jingling keys in a pocket or clicking a pen. The point is to eliminate gestures or mannerisms that do not support your message and only include gestures that do support your message or make it more visually interesting or clarify its meaning.
For example, if you are presenting three items in a list, you can show numbers one, two and three with your fingers. Gesturing to your PowerPoint presentation, or showing contrast or direction, are good ways to communicate your message with hand gestures. If you’re a little stuck this website will help https://www.scienceofpeople.com/hand-gestures/. These two tips will help get you started:
- Mark the areas of your presentation (during practice) where a gesture would add clarity or interest to your presentation
- Practice your presentation with these gestures
- Once you have comfortably incorporated the gestures into your presentation, practice your presentation in front of a trusted friend, or video tape yourself to check for mannerisms and to confirm your gestures are adding to or distracting from your message
5. Movement and Position
Movement, like gestures should be clear, defined and ad to the clarity or interest of your presentation. You never want to appear as if you’ve lost your way wandering around the stage. Effective movement during a presentation will clarify your message and make your audience feel as if you are talking to them and building rapport with them rather than talking at them. If you have access to large stage, here are a few helpful tips:
- Mark the specific areas of your presentation (during practice) where movement (forwards, backwards or to the side) would add clarity or interest to your presentation
- If you have access to the entire stage, use the whole stage, left, centre and right
- Practice your presentation with these movements
- Once you have comfortably incorporated the movements into your presentation, practice in front of friend or video for feedback
These five topic areas provide an overview of how to use your body language to make your presentation more interesting, visually appealing and more powerful. Remember that your body language is as important as your content and should always be incorporated with your presentation to create a captivating experience for your audience.
Want to learn more about delivering your effective real estate presentation?