Nathan Gold

Presentation Coach, Trainer, and Speaker

DEMOmobile Hint-To-Success #7

People in the audience will make an unconscious judgment about you and your demo BEFORE you speak your first word. What you choose to do in the first 15-30 seconds will completely set the stage for the following 5-6 minutes of your demo.

Think about it for a moment. We all make "first impression" judgments of people and we usually do this before we hear them speak. We base our first impressions on what people are wearing, how they are standing, how they carry themselves, what's going on with their facial expressions, how their hair is done, and so on and so on. So, what are you going to do to make a great first impression?

When thinking about what you will say and do in your demo, keep these study results in mind...

Dr. Albert Merhabian, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, published a study in the early 70's that is still valid and that people often quote today. Unfortunately, they usually quote it incorrectly. Let me explain:

He published a qualitative and quantitative study proving that people make judgments about you based on 3 aspects of communication. The 3 areas are the words you use, how you use your voice, and your body language. Actually, back in the day when this study was published, he called what we now call body language, facial expressions.

So, it turns out that the study showed that the words you use when you communicate make up a mere 7% of the total pie. Your voice accounts for 38% and your body language is 55%.

If you believe these numbers, and I certainly do, it clearly proves that it's not what you say, but how you say it. Therefore, when you walk out on stage, you are communicating through your body language and facial expressions before you speak your first words.

Speaking of words, how you use your voice to say the words in your demo is crucial to keeping the audience interested and engaged. If you tend to be monotonous in your delivery, guess what? That's how the audience will feel about your product. If you are excited and animated, the audience will be too. You have control over many aspects of your voice. You can control the volume, speed, tonality, and pitch. Play with different aspects of your voice to become more interesting to listen to. Have fun. Come out of your shell and use them to your advantage. Think of this demo as a short play. You are the main character and you have ultimate control over the character seen by the audience from the moment you take your first step onto the stage.

So, go out there and make this time count for you, your DEMOmobile team, and your company back home. Walk out there with confidence and poise. Use your body language and facial expressions to convey excitement and enthusiasm for your product. This is not the time to be conservative, reserved, or gentle in your approach. Make a BIG splash. Leave a lasting first impression by making the most of those first few seconds and let that first impression develop and carry you through your 6-minutes of fame.