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Have a Planned Question for Your Silent Q&A

By Bob Goodyear

Have you ever asked, “Do you have any questions” during your presentation and received no response from the audience? How did that feel? How long did you wait before moving on?

As a technical presenter, it is expected to have a Q&A period during your presentation. However, having no one raise their hand to ask a question is one of the most uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever experienced in my years of presenting. I tried all kinds of methods to handle this. I would many times laugh it off with a …

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Fast Talkers and Valley Girls: How a Message is Delivered Matters Just as Much as the What of It

By Claudia W. Brogan

One infamous quirk of the popular TV series “Gilmore Girls” was the quick pace of the dialogue between the two leading characters, the mother Lorelai Gilmore and her spunky daughter Rory.

The lead actress herself, Lauren Graham, even titled her autobiography “Talking as Fast as I Can.”

Being notorious for speaking quickly is one thing when used as a comic device in a TV show; it is altogether a different matter—and not a laughing matter—when used by public speakers.

Those who speak quickly when delivering presentations are often doing so …

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Inspiration is Everywhere

By Tom Nixon

When you are faced with a project or presentation that seems impenetrable, try looking for creative ideas and solutions outside your particular area of expertise or discipline. Years of having to deal with multiple diverse publishing projects taught me to have a mental list of inspiration locations I could visit to get the creative juices flowing. Some of my favorites: card stores, TV sports graphics (this would give me a great excuse to watch Sunday football), and the local quilting fabric stores — fabric designers …

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New Year’s Resolution to Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking

by Kelly Vandever

There’s nothing quite like a new year to do a clean sweep and set out to accomplish new goals. Hence, the New Year’s Resolution!

If your New Year’s Resolution is to overcome your fear of public speaking, congratulations! That’s a great cause.

We know public speaking can help you personally and in your career, so well done for stepping up and addressing your fears!

Where to begin? For most people, I recommend finding and joining a Toastmasters club.
The Mission of a Toastmasters Club
According to the Toastmasters International website, the …

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Top Ten Posts of 2017


In case you missed these Top 10 Posts, here’s a quick review.
1 – Need to Show a Website While You Present?  Two Quick Tricks Using PowerPoint
by Kelly Vandever

Recently I watched a conference presenter who used Google docs slides as part of a presentation. In addition to his Google slides, he went to the live websites (rather than using a screen shot of the website) because the live sites better illustrated the points he was making.

When he came to the …

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Energize a Cold Audience

By Tom Nixon

Many times a speaker, through no fault of their own, steps to the front of the room and faces a cold audience. It could be the time of day, the meal before or after the session, the previous speaker, an organization-wide situation, or even the temperature, setup, and/or lighting of the room. It could be anything. The energy and the expectations are bottomed out. You may well have to struggle to get the power level up.

A presenter can use a number of techniques to open their time and energize …

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Video Rehearsal – The Key to Improving

 

By Bob Goodyear

In an earlier blog post about rehearsing before presenting, I wrote about the importance of doing a video rehearsal. I talked about how hard it is to actually watch it. As a technical presenter, I want to believe that I know my presentation so well that rehearsal is not needed. I swallowed my pride and recently recorded a video in preparation for an upcoming presentation.
What do you do with the video rehearsal once you’ve recorded it?
I suggest that you watch your video three different times. That might seem …

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Avoiding the Pitfalls of Group Exercises for Speakers

By Claudia W. Brogan

Recently a budding speaker asked me to attend a speech she was delivering and provide feedback for her, with suggestions for improvement. Maggie opened her speech with an intriguing quotation, captured the attention of the audience and proceeded to deliver three excellent learning tips.

Midway through the presentation, though, I watched as Maggie asked—without much instruction or introduction—that her audience members move into groups of four to complete a worksheet of questions. What I saw happen in the room was a bit of a chill: audience members shifted from …

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To be an Expert or a Master

By Tom Nixon

Any chart or graph can be a dense forest of data unless you deliberately create it with the goal of making the complex understandable. This double axis chart is a build slide with each component revealed as the presenter introduces them so that the audience can understand how the chart works without the initial confusion caused by showing the entire chart at once.

The goal here is to show how presentation technique and the complexity of the content work together to affect how the audience responds to the speaker.

The vertical …

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PowerPoint Slides are Changing, Thankfully!

 

By Kelly Vandever

“I don’t want to keep teaching people how to do better PowerPoints only to have them tell me, ‘Oh, we could never do that where I work.’ ”

This comment came from a colleague who was expressing his frustration about teaching people to present PowerPoints more effectively.

I’ve expressed similar sentiments myself over the years. But at this time of year, when we think of what we’re thankful for, I’m thankful that when it comes to PowerPoint slides in business presentations, times are changing!
Times Are Changing
While the statement above …

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