According to my favorite presentation guru, Olivia Mitchell, attempting to be natural when presenting is a big mistake. Here's from her recent email:
It's common public speaking advice to say "be natural". But this is not helpful.
Yes, your audience wants you to look natural. But that is not the same as you feeling natural.
You may feel more natural if you keep your hands clasped in front of you, but that's not going to allow you to transmit your enthusiasm and passion for your message.
Being an effective presenter requires you to do some things which feel unnatural to you - but which will look natural to your audience. The audience does not know what feels natural to you. Here's an example: If I cross my arms the way I normally do that feels entirely natural to me. When I cross my arms the other way - I have great difficulty doing it and it feels very odd. But if you were looking at me you wouldn't be able to tell that it was feeling unnatural to me.
So don't try and feel natural. Instead practice the things that will make you an effective presenter. They will feel weird at first. It will feel as if you're doing a "technique". But the audience won't be able to tell. And if you practice them enough they will start to feel more natural.
Here are techniques which will make you a more effective presenter:
1. Make eye connection with your audience
3. Stop and look at your notes in silence
4. Use the space you have
5. Let your hands gesture
If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them, just click reply and it will come straight to my inbox.