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Ways to Command Your Audience

Public speaking has the ability to influence decisions, make connections and motivate change; it is, therefore, critical to maximise your communication and presentation skills to create the most impactful outcome.

While your words can have a significant impact on your audience, non-verbal communication encompasses every aspect of your verbal communication. Your facial expressions, eye contact, posture, hand gestures and more, could either make or break your presentation. Executive Speech Coach and author of ‘Well Said,’ Darlene Price, estimates that your non-verbal communication can carry anywhere from 65 to 93 percent more impact than your spoken words.

Aside from body language, providing support to your speech has also proven to increase your audience’s retention rate. For example, words alone only provide a 5 to 10 percent rate of retention of information. Adding visuals can increase this retention rate to 25 to 30 percent. However, to harness the full potential of your speech, converting it into a story like form with examples and emotion can increase retention to an impressive 65 to 75 percent.

Late last year, TMS CEO, Helen Wood presented at the Financial Services Institute of Australia (FINSIA) in Sydney, to demonstrate her knowledge as an impactful speaker, see here for more.

Using Helen’s insight, TMS has put together a helpful infographic below to help you master the art of public speaking to excel your journey in your successful career.


  • Identify the purpose of the presentation and tailor the content to the situational context and the audience’s likely receptivity.
  • Utilise perception management to purposefully shape people’s views.


  • Use visual aids, materials and evidence to support points and assist the audiences to process and retain information presented.
  • By incorporating facts and figures to your presentation, audience retention increases by up to 20 percent.
  • Let material support, not overtake you.
  • Remember, less is more!


  • Start with an attention grabber then clearly state your thesis.
  • Ensure smooth transitions between topics. Use supporting ideas to emphasise your main points.
  • Conclude by summarising the main points and close by helping the audience remember your speech.

Body Language

  • Move around the room to create interest and warmth. This will keep your audience focussed
  • Make eye contact with as many stakeholders as possible, this will increase engagement
  • In a big room? Utilise big gestures. In a small space? Keep it simple


  • Adopt a style of delivery that enhances the message, through the use of eye contact, gestures, movement, voice intonation and expression.
  • Develop your style best through practice


  • Make your presentation interactive.
  • Research shows that audience engagement drops by 14 percent when the presenter does all the talking, so give your audience opportunities to contribution through questions or Utilise quick pulse surveys, e.g. raise your hand and use silence to create an impact effect.

With such an undeniably high influence, it is key that your presentation considers more than just what you plan to say.

For more information on how TMS can help contact us or phone us on (07) 3003 1473.


About the author

TMS Consulting