A little trick to giving better Presentations
Do you enjoy giving presentations? Most people try to avoid presentations when they can. For many of us it leads to apprehension and fear.
When we get nervous we tend to speak faster, at a higher pitch, and we can often stutter. The audience sees our discomfort and they get uncomfortable. We can see their discomfort and we get worse – it’s a vicious circle. I can’t remember the good presentations I have given, but I can remember the presentations where I held on to the podium for dear life, stuttering and eventually losing my train of thought.
There is no magic potion to rid us of nerves when speaking in public, but I do have a little trick to giving better presentations, based on medical science.
Interested? Read on…
A French surgeon called Paul Broca discovered the part of the brain responsible for speech. It is located in the left hemisphere. The Broca area, named after the surgeon, lies specifically in the third frontal convolution, just anterior to the face area of the motor cortex and just above the Sylvian fissure. In addition to serving a role in speech production, the Broca area also is involved in language comprehension, in motor activities associated with hand movements and in sensorimotor learning and integration.
But what does that mean? The Broca area not only controls how we form speech, it also controls facial and hand gestures. So, hands and speech are connected. We are effectively designed to use our hands when we talk.
So, when we speak and use our hands together, the Broca area is highly stimulated, and as a result we become more fluent. The physical act of gesturing helps us form clearer thoughts, speak more fluently and with greater use of language.
Try it for yourself by adding some gestures the next time you give a presentation.