In a recent post on Inc., James Sudakow shared great insights on presentations based on social psychology research.
Sudakow tells us that although we spend hours on the content of our presentation it can be the thing that influences the audience the least. He's not saying to show up unprepared, but rather than focus primarily on the content, presenters should focus on these 3 key 'V' elements:
Yes, your sleek slides are important, but don't forget to pay attention to your body language. Your audience is looking for eye contact, they're watching your movements and gestures.
Practice your speed and intonation. Don't race through your presentation in a high pitched or quiet tone. Instead, focus on projecting confidently and loudly enough to be heard.
While the words coming out of your mouth are crucial to your presentation, the verbal component only accounts for 7% of what is influencing your audience. Combined with the other elements it makes up the whole package.
You can read more about this fascinating research here.