‘Go Large’ – Presentations & Your Personal Brand

Personal brand business presenting reputation managementAfter a week doing seminars and presentations in both Yorkshire and London (no, that’s not me in the picture!) I’ve seen first hand how important it is to deliver a large dollop of your personal brand along with your subject matter. Doing so gives your audience the knowledge they need to decide whether they’re buying into you as a speaker – and the sooner they do, the better vibe you’ll create.  That vibe will be felt by both you and them and like a ball of energy gathering momentum, your presentation will go from strength to strength and the audience’s enjoyment will go with it.

But promoting your personal brand to a large number of people at once, compared to a few individuals at a time, requires a bit of extra work – so here’s five tips and techniques to show you how:

1. Your Image
Both my last blog and the guest posting from image consultant Natalia Colman looked at the way you can use your image to give your audience clues to your personal brand.  When you’re presenting, you need to be sure those clues are coming across loud and clear and can be picked up quickly from the minute you take centre stage.  So whatever your image, go for a stronger version of it – wear your sharpest suit, your brightest tie, your boldest jewellery, your highest heels and a little bit more make up. (Not all at once of course!)

2. Your Sound
When you present don’t think of it as anything less than you’re putting on a performance and just as actors use their vocal range to convey not just what’s being said but the message behind it, so must you.  This is all about over-dramatising what you’re saying – longer pauses, wider tonal range, greater variance between loud and soft.  It may sound OTT but let me assure you, by the time your voice hits your audience’s ears, it will have diminished to just the right level and represent your brand as it would be if you were speaking to each person one-to-one.

3. Your Body Language
Now you’ve increased your vocal range you need to make sure your body language matches, so don’t forget to increase the drama in your gestures.  One example is to act like the fisherman describing the one that got away: if you’re opening your arms to illustrate something you’re talking about, open them twice as wide a you would normally.  The distance between you and your audience will temper the gesture back to its normal level. (I once worked with the MD of a company who didn’t believe this until he saw a video of himself on stage at the company conference.  He’d resisted the big gestures because he thought he’d look like an eejit, but told me he wished he’d done them because he’d ended up looking bland instead of getting across the bold persona he has.)

And don’t forget to connect with your audience through eye contact – looking directly at someone will strengthen the trust they have in your personal brand.  Add a beaming smile to go with it to show you’re genuinely enjoying your audience’s company and you’re onto a winner.

 4. Spoken Language
I’ve written before about using positive language to communicate a positive personal brand and it’s just as imperative when you’re presenting. But in addition to that, don’t forget to pepper your presentation with some of the key words from your personal brand – hints as to your values, beliefs, reputation, etc. These are the thing that make you you, so make sure people know that.

5. Offering a Connection
Just because your presentation is about what you do, that doesn’t mean you can’t tell your audience a little bit about who you are.  Stories and metaphors are a great way to bring a presentation to life so why not make them anecdotes about you? Use that funny story about the time you locked yourself out of the hotel room on your honeymoon in just your underpants to illustrate risk management (whilst also letting them know your marital status plus somewhere you’ve been on holiday).  Or relate the story of how you trained to run a marathon to illustrate long-term goals (and the fact you’re a keen runner).  I guarantee it will be these things that people come up and talk to you about at the end, because you’ve offered them a personal connection to your brand, rather than just a business one. 

So it boils down to this: when you’re promoting your personal brand messages to a large audience, do all the things you’d normally do…just do them bigger, stronger and louder!

*****

If you’ve got your own suggestions for promoting your personal brand in presentations, or just want to tell me what you think, don’t be shyleave a comment!  And please help me to spread the word using the buttons below.  Or if you’d like to learn more, check out my other blogs and follow me on Twitter.  Or drop me an email at jennifer.holloway@sparkexec.co.uk.  Thank you! 

Spark specialises in branding, but not for companies – for PEOPLE, helping clients to market themselves so they stand out from the crowd, building a reputation that enables them to be even more successful just by being themselves.   Spark delivers personal branding to executives and senior managers in Leeds, Harrogate, Skipton, York, Bradford, Wakefield and the Yorkshire area, as well as in London and other UK cities. The company was founded by Jennifer Holloway and her 15 years’ experience in PR coupled with several years as an executive coach means she delivers a personal brand service unlike any other. 

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