To persuade an audience, you need to present your best self. You do this through words, tone, and body language. In a persuasive situation, words are only 7% of the message effectiveness. Tone is 38%. Body language is 55%. Just like a sport, you can master the skills to be a persuasive presenter. What you say is important, but how you say it is even more important.

Focus on the following when you present:

Organization. Every presentation is a story that you want to tell your audience. In the story are the problem you are solving, why it is relevant, and the solution you are proposing. Develop clear transitions to connect each element of the story.

Creativity. You need a creative “grabber” at the start to capture your audience’s attention and a “sticker” at the end to give the call to action and make it memorable. Use props, PowerPoint, or other visuals to add engaging content, but never use them as a crutch. You are the center of the presentation. Use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Pattern to make your point persuasively.

Voice. Project your voice with energy and passion for the topic. Use correct grammar and avoid filler words. Vary the volume and speed of your voice to keep the audience engaged. Monotone puts them to sleep.

Gestures. Stand confidently. Use your hands in a comfortable way that does not distract attention. Work the room to engage every member of the audience. Adapt your facial expressions to match your content. When the content is happy, look happy.

Connections. Look at each member of your audience. Find examples that are relevant to your audience and connects with them.

The speaking rubric below will be used in your Owen classes to evaluate your speech assignments.

Owen Speaking Rubric