Whether he’s introducing a revolutionary new product or delivering a keynote presentation, Steve Jobs is well known for electrifying audiences with his style and showmanship. Jobs doesn’t just convey information in a presentation; he tells a story, paints a picture and shares a vision.You can steal his secrets, says Carmine Gallo, a business journalist and author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Here, for example, are three Jobs-inspired ways to improve your body language when you’re presenting.
1. Make eye contact. Great communicators such as Jobs make appreciably more eye contact with audience members than average presenters. They rarely read from slides or notes. Research shows that eye contact is associated with honesty, trustworthiness, sincerity and confidence. Conversely, lack of eye contact is most often associated with a lack of confidence and leadership ability.
2. Maintain an open posture. Jobs rarely crosses his arms or stands behind a lectern. His posture is almost always “open,” meaning he has placed nothing between himself and his audience. During product demos, Jobs sits parallel to the computer so nothing blocks his view of the audience or the audience’s view of him.
3. Use frequent hand gestures. Jobs emphasizes nearly every sentence with a gesture that complements his words. Academic research out of the University of Chicago suggests that gestures and languages are intimately connected, and that the use of gestures can help presenters speak better by clearing up their thought process. The research further found that very disciplined, rigorous and confident thinkers use hand gestures that reflect the clarity of their thinking. Use hand gestures to emphasize your point. Be careful, however, that your movements do not become robotic or overly rehearsed.