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13 Psychological Facts Every Presenter Needs To Know About People

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Behavioral scientist Dr. Susan Weinschenk published the best advice from her new book, 100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People, based on posts from her blog, The W Blog...

1. People learn best in 20 minute chunks.

2. Our seeing and hearing senses are always competing with each other.

3. Human brains crave the unexpected.

4. Stories engage people emotionally.

5. People "read" each other in an instant. The way you talk and stand, your facial expressions, and your eye contact (or lack of it) communicate whether you are nervous, confident, excited, and more. Decide what impression you want to convey, and then think about how your body language is conveying it.

6. People continually interpret body position and movements.

7. People imitate others' dispositions and emotions.

8. Hand gestures convey specific messages.

9. People need to feel safe to participate.

10. People appreciate those who admit mistakes.

11. Making mistakes helps people retain information.

12. Energy level of a room affects everyone's mood.

13. Writing increases commitment.

Some body language with hand gestures:

A. Having your hands open with your palms up means you are asking for something from the audience. 

B. Having your palms open with your hands down means you are certain about something.

C. Hands open with palms at a 45-degree angle means you are being honest and open. 

D. If you place your hands down at a 90-degree angle with your fingers together, you are communicating that you have confidence and expertise in what you are saying. 

E. Having your hands grasped in front of you makes you look nervous or tentative. 

F. Hands on your hips is usually too aggressive a stance for a presentation. 

G. Hand gestures that go beyond your body indicate that an idea is large. If all your hand gestures are that big, you might appear out of control.