We had a terrific time exploring presentation skills with the entrepreneurs at LaunchX‘s summer program at UPenn!
Each summer, LaunchX works with high school students on creating and designing their own businesses. You read that right. This is not a business plan competition: over the course of four weeks, these students will actually realize a new start up.
With that great task comes a lot of unique challenges. The ability to clearly communicate ideas to a panel of experts is imperative. So is understanding all the ways we can communicate to an audience. Our workshop addressed the skills needed to create an effective presentation.
Presentation and Non-Verbal Communication
One aspect of the workshop focused on body language. According to some research, 55% of our message is delivered by how we handle ourselves. When we are presenting a new idea, we can get nervous or excited and sometimes that energy can bubble up to the surface in ways we don’t intend. Similarly, the way we carry ourselves shapes the way we feel about what we are saying.
In improv, the way our performers carry themselves and occupy space on stage can be a valuable tool. If someone is a king, they can take large strides as they move, speak loudly, and command space. If someone is a cat, they may act more reserved, stalking about the space, using small movements and behaviors that show what they are rather than having to simply address who they are.
It was interesting to see how comfortable the workshop participants were with each other. They have been working together for a number of weeks and were terrific. That meant less time on warming up and more time getting in the presentation head-space.
It was a lot of fun to see this brilliant group of teens open up and learn through improvisation!
If you want to learn more about non-verbal communication, get in touch with us today!