From the Speech Coach for
Executives, George Torok
You speak before a group. You present
your message. You might be selling your product, service or
yourself. How do you present yourself with power?
Don’t be fooled by the name. Just
because of the name – there is no implied power in
PowerPoint. PowerPoint does not convey power. Have you
noticed how many presenters use PowerPoint and do not have
power. That should be your first clue. If everyone is doing
it – it is not powerful. Did you notice how quickly the
Macarena faded once vice president Al Gore did it?
PowerPoint is easy-to-use software. It
seduces you into believing that your presentation is all
about nice graphics. That is your second mistake. If it
appears to be too easy – it is not powerful.
The third deception is that a bad
presenter can hide behind their PowerPoint presentation. If
you think that, shame on you! If you were a bad golfer do
you really believe that expensive clubs or a Nike cap (like
Tiger Woods wears) would make you a great golfer? If you
could not ice skate would you offer to play in the
Stanley cup just because you got new skates? Of course not.
Don’t make that mistake with presentation skills. Hone the
Power comes from
The only power that counts in your
presentation and everything you do is the power that comes
from within you. That is real power. That is recognizable
power. That is power that enables you to make things
This is real power because no one can
take it away from you. They can admire it and covet it but
they cannot take it away from you. That is what makes you
How do you convey
power to your audience?
The first way you convey power is in
the confidence you project. Stand and look good even if you
don’t feel good. Projecting power is based on how you look,
sound and feel. From the past decade of presentation skills
training and speech coaching, George Torok,
the “Speech Coach for Executives” has
discovered that most people look more confident that they
feel. This is surprising to most presenters. And it is a
welcome relief. No one knows how your inner voice is
Even when you don’t feel so good –
look good. This works in your favor. Even when you question
your own confidence the audience does not know about your
inner doubts. They only know what they see and feel.
The physical is the first and
strongest way you project power. Smile. That is the look of
confidence. Smile. That helps to build trust. Smile. That
shows that you know your stuff. Too many business
presenters make the mistake of thinking, “This is serious
business. I must not smile.” What a
Any business you are in is about people. And people
like to deal with people who convey confidence and
trust. Nothing conveys trust and confidence more than
a smile. Don’t grin like the Cheshire cat – but smile
Another physical projection of power
is the way you stand. Stand away from the lectern so the
audience can see you. When you appear more open you appear
Stand tall and strong. Shoulders back
and chest out. Looking as tall and big as you can. We put
more faith in one who appears to be big. Bigger, stronger, more
Stand with your hands and arm open
most of the time. Crossed arms appear guarded not powerful.
You appear to be hiding something. Keep your hands out of
your pockets. If you want to appear open look open.
Your voice is the next component to
power and believably. Power comes from the appearance of
confidence. You sound more powerful when you sound more
confident. You sound more confident when you speak slower
and deeper – and say less. Speaking slower shows that you
are willing to let listeners digest what you say. That you
are not afraid of interruptions. Speaking slower also
lowers the tone of your voice – which makes you sound more
credible. Who sounds more powerful – the slow thudding walk
of the elephant or the skittering of the mouse?
Pause more. That displays confidence.
It allows your listeners to think about what you say. It is
never about what you tell them. It is about what they
convince themselves. And they convince
themselves while you are not talking. You do not convince
with your words. They need the silences to think.
Hum the first four notes to
Beethoven’s Fifth symphony. Feel the power in those clear
simple four notes. Compare that to the skittering of rap
music. Have you noticed that the only power in today’s
music is from the slow deep thud of the base?
Use words of
Pick words that convey power. Short
simple clear words display more power than longer words.
Love, hate, grow, kill, stop, go, are more powerful than
infatuation, ill feelings, cultivation, exterminate,
Simple phrases and short sentences
have more power than long, vague convoluted meanderings.
Hamlet’s, “To be or not to be” has more power than “Our
mission is to be the supplier of choice to our customers,
show respect for our employees, work fairly with our
suppliers, be recognized as a leader in the marketplace and
generate a consistently above average return on investment
to our shareholders.”
Compare that to, “We are here to
Verbs are more powerful than nouns and
more powerful that adjectives and adverbs.
Action is power. Talk versus
communication. Do versus implementation. Sell versus
solicitation. Those words ending in ‘tion’ are poison. They
suck the power out of your message.
You are the
You can be more powerful when you
speak – if you focus on what you say and how you look and
sound. Power is a feeling. If your audience believes you to
be powerful by how you make them feel – you will be
powerful. And your presentation will be more effective.
Don’t hide behind PowerPoint slides to
save your presentation or grant you false power.. Your
personal power will move your audience to buy into your
message. The power will never come from your PowerPoint
presentation. Instead tap into the personal power that you
have inside of you. That is what makes you believable and
© George Torok is the
Speech Coach for Executives. He is a
professional speaker, trainer and consultant. He is the
creator and host of the weekly radio show, Business in
Motion. He has delivered over
1,000 presentations, written over 300 articles and
completed two marathons. He delivers motivational keynote
presentations and skill building workshops.
coaches executives to deliver million dollar presentations.
He trains managers, technical experts and business
professionals to deliver powerful presentations.
Torok at 905-335-1997 or toll free in North
America at 800-304-1861