Seven Pillars of a Powerful Presentation

George TorokPresentation Tips, Public Speaking


How to Deliver a Powerful Presentation

Presenters who appear and sound weak lose credibility and lack power. A winning presentation is delivered by a presenter who looks and sounds powerful. A winner captures attention and conveys credibility.

You can be more powerful in your presentations and hence more successful by building on these seven pillars.

Powerful presentation pillars tips

Avoid the Temptations of PowerPoint

Don’t be fooled by the name. There is no implied power in PowerPoint. It’s simply a clever name. Would so many presenters have been as easily seduced if the product was named FoolsPoint, LoserPoint or BoringPoint?

PowerPoint is software that is easy to use. Because of that, many presenters make the mistake of relying on the software instead of preparing an effective presentation. The next mistake they make is assuming that the PowerPoint slides are the presentation, so they don’t bother to improve their own presentation skills. They expect the software to present for them. That’s a big mistake.

Don’t be seduced by PowerPoint

Real Power Comes from Within You

The only power that counts in your presentation and everything you do is the power that comes from within you. That is real power. That is recognizable power. That is power that enables you to make things happen.

Your personal power is the combination of your confidence, knowledge and skills.
This is genuine real power that no one can take from you. You need to develop this presentation power by improving your confidence and skills. Build your skills and your confidence grows.

Genuine power is within you

How Do You Convey Power to Your Audience?

The first way you convey power is in the confidence that you project. Stand and look good, even when you don’t feel good. Projecting power is based on how you look, sound and feel.

You might be surprised to learn that most presenters look more confident than they feel. I’ve trained and coached thousands of presenters to use these techniques to appear more confident than they feel. When you are presenting the only thing that counts is the perception of your audience. If they believe you look confident then you will have more power in their eyes.

The audience judges your power by what they perceive.

Physical Power

Smile. That is the look of a confident presenter. That helps to build trust. That suggests that you know your topic and believe in your message.

Too many business presenters make the mistake of thinking, “This is serious business. I must not smile.” That’s a common mistake.

Every business is about people. And people like to deal with people who convey confidence, warmth and trust. Those qualities are conveyed with a smile.

Your posture is an important aspect of physical power. Stand away from the lectern so the audience can see you. Appear open and trusting and you will seem more powerful and believable. Stand tall and proud. Put your shoulders back and chest out. Let your hands hang at your side so they move naturally and easily when you gesture. And smile.


Sound Powerful

Your voice is a significant component to power and believably. You will sound more powerful when you sound more confident. You sound more confident when you speak slower – and say less.

Speaking slower shows that you are willing to let listeners digest what you say; that you are not afraid of interruptions. Speaking slower also lowers the tone of your voice, which makes you sound more credible. Who sounds more powerful – the slow thudding walk of the elephant or the skittering of the mouse?

Pause more often and longer. That demonstrates confidence. It allows your listeners to think about what you say. It is never about what you tell them. It is about what they convince themselves. And they convince themselves while you are not talking. You do not convince with your words. They need the silences to think.

You sound more confident when you speak slower.

Use Words of Power

Pick words that convey power. Short simple clear words display more power. Love, hate, grow, kill, stop, go, are more powerful than infatuation, ill feelings, cultivation, exterminate, discontinue, departure.

Simple phrases and short sentences have more power than long, vague convoluted meanderings.

Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” has more power than “Our mission is to be the supplier of choice to our customers, show respect for our employees, work fairly with our suppliers, be recognized as a leader in the marketplace and generate a consistently above average return on investment to our shareholders.”

Verbs are more powerful than nouns. Action is power. Talk versus communication. Move versus transportation. Sell versus solicitation. Those words ending in ‘tion’ are poison. They suck the energy out of your message.

Short simple clear words display more power.

You are the Power

Power is the ability to make things happen. The purpose of your presentations is to make things happen. Become more powerful when you speak, and you will make more things happen.

Real power is multifaceted. Build your knowledge, improve your presentation skills and project more confidence. You can be a more powerful presenter if you use these seven pillars when you present.

Power is the ability to make things happen.


© George Torok is The Speech Coach for Executives. He helps business leaders deliver Superior Presentations.

To arrange private speech coaching or presentation training for your team, call George at 905-335-1997


Seven Pillars of a Powerful Presentation