How to Present with Power and Poise

Great presentations have many ingredients from the structure of the visuals to the delivery. But what makes it all work from voice, eye contact, word choice, to body language, the visuals used, etc? Let’s take a look at the act of successfully presenting or pitching an idea to reveal these ingredients.



  • TED: Body Language by Amy Cuddy
    • Presentation Transcript
    • communication – interactions
    • we are influenced by our nonverbals
      • nonverbal power and dominance = opening up
      • we compliment the other person’s nonverbals
        • if faced with power = subordinate
      • nonverbal power coordinates to gender
      • nonverbals govern what we think about others and ourselves
      • do our bodies change our minds? Since our minds change our bodies…
        • powerful people = more optimistic – abstract – risk takers – testosterone (high) – cortisol (low)
        • role changes shape the mind
      • presence
        • passionate
        • confident
        • enthusiastic
        • authentic
        • captivating
        • comfortable
      • behavior can change the outcomes
      • fake it ’til you become it
      • tiny tweaks → BIG CHANGES
      • power posing
  • NPR: How A Position Of Power Can Change Your Voice
  • TED: How to speak so that people want to listen by Julian Treasure
    • Presentation Transcript
    • 7 deadly sins of speaking
      • gossip
      • judging
      • negativity
      • complaining – viral misery
      • excuses – blame thrower
      • exaggeration – making something look better/worse than it is (lying)
      • dogmatism – opinion/beliefs
    • 4 cornerstones to powerful speaking (to great or acclaim enthusiastically)
      • Honesty (be clear and straight)
      • Authenticity (be yourself)
      • Integrity (be your word)
      • Love (wish them well) – hard to judge them
    • Toolbox
      • Register – locate voice to the chest = depth
      • Timbre – the way your voice feels – rich; smooth; warm
      • Prosody – the singsong
      • Pace – speed to emphasize
      • Silence – can be powerful
      • Pitch
      • Volume – make people listen – contrast
      • Warm up your voice
    • creating  sound consciously
  • 11 Things To NEVER Say In A Presentation
  • Garr Reynolds Brain Rules for Presenters


  • Create a simple visually stimulating presentation
  • Practice in front of an audience, stuffed animals, parents, friends, anyone who will listen
  • Record a video of yourself and analyze it


  • Google Presentation
  • PowerPoint
  • Apple Keynote
  • VoiceThread (you can upload, narrate the slides on this site, and then embed the presentation into an online portfolio or blog)
  • YouTube

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