• open panel

Leadership Presentations: Addressing Your Team When Dealing With Difficult Situations

by Kelly Vandever

I survived the great Atlanta snowpocalypse of January 2014.

Even though we live in the metro Atlanta area, snowpocalypse wasn’t hard for me. I was working at home when the snow began to fall.

My husband’s ride home took 2 hours — it’s usual a 45 minute commute.  My son-in-law took 2.5 hours to get home.  But anyone who’s watched the national news on January 29th and January 30th, 2014 knows that they were among the lucky ones.

As we watched …

Read More

Want to Inspire Your Work Team? Tell Your Organization’s Stories!

by Kelly Vandever


My second tour in the Navy, I worked at the Personnel Support Detachment in Pensacola, Florida.  For those of you who weren’t in the Navy, Personnel Support Detachments – which we called PSD for short – are the equivalent of a Human Resources department in a company.  In our case, we handled the pay and personnel records for all the Navy personnel stationed at NAS Pensacola which included the famous Blue Angels flight demonstrations team.

If …

Read More

Why Your 2014 New Year’s Resolution Should NOT Be Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking

by Kelly Vandever

It might sound strange coming from a presentation coach… but if you have decided that “overcoming the fear of public speaking” as your New Year’s Resolution for 2014, I argue that you should reconsider.

What?  Have you gone crazy, Kelly?!

Well maybe.  But I think, if you have a fear of public speaking, instead of concentrating on yourself and your fear, I encourage you to set your resolution to… “Serve My Audience.”   Here’s how….

Read More

10 Most Popular Presentation Posts of 2013 (at least at this blog site anyway)

As the year draws to a close, it’s time once again to recap the top 10 most visited blog posts of the year here at Speaking Practically.

As you think about your upcoming presentations, I hope you’ll find these topics and thoughts helpful.

Thanks for a great 2013!


#1 – What If I Don’t Like the Default Size 16:9 in PowerPoint 2013?

Currently, when opening a new slide in PowerPoint 2013, it will open by default to a larger sized slide.  Instead of the traditional 4:3 dimensions most people are used …

Read More

Removing the Background of a Picture Using PowerPoint

PowerPoint has got this pretty slick function where it can remove the background of a picture so you can isolate just the image you want to present. When it works, it is super groovy.  The challenge is, that it doesn’t always work well.

In the video below, you’ll see how you can remove a background in a photo using PowerPoint, and what you can do when it doesn’t work smoothly.

Hope it helps you with your PowerPoint adventures!  (And if you need more help for you or your team, give me a call at 770-597-1108!  Let’s talk!)


Read More

Things I’m Thankful For in 2013 and Beyond!

I have so much to be thankful for.

I pray that you too have much to be grateful for and can take some time to express thanks for the people in your life!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!  God Bless!!





Read More

Uses for Presentation Skills After the Zombie Apocalypse

My husband and son have each been called “MacGyver” on multiple occasions by friends and family. They are both intelligent, resourceful and the kind of men you’d want to hang out with during a Zombie Apocalypse. (My son even has a t-shirt that declares, “In Case of Zombie Apocalypse, Follow Me.”) They can handle weapons. They can build things. They can survive off the land. They have all the skills that would be essential to survival in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse.

I …

Read More

It’s Amazing What You Can Do in PowerPoint! Changing Colors & Cropping Images to Create a Whole New Image

“I like your slides, but I don’t have any editing software to make changes to my images.”

Those were the words one of the participants in a recent training class said.

We’d finished the session and a few stragglers stayed after the program to ask some questions.

“There’s a lot you can do in PowerPoint,” I told her.  And then I showed her how I to create this slide*…

Start with the Image on Two Blank Slides
First, I find a picture of a silhouette of people (I …

Read More

5 Techniques for Representing Complex Information on Your Presentation Slides… So Your Audience Can Actually Consume It – Part 5

When you need to represent information within a larger context consider…

Technique #5
What if you have something more complex yet that you want to give perspective to and give more details such as a process or a hardware diagram or screen shots?

One option you might want to consider is an online application called Prezi.

For those not familiar with Prezi, it’s an alternative to PPT or Apple’s Keynote.

Rather than transitioning linearly from one slide to the next, all the information is laid onto a big mat, then you zoom in and out of the mat as you go …

Read More

5 Techniques for Representing Complex Information on Your Presentation Slides… So Your Audience Can Actually Consume It – Part 4

Some times you really need all the information.  But how can you help the audience understand it better?

Technique #4
Sometimes you want the information on the same page to give the sense of perspective or relationship

What you might want to consider then is how do you do a slow reveal – or a staged reveal.

Reveal Information in Stages as You Tell the Story.
So for instance, in this example, we want to talk about our store growth over the last few years.

We could reveal all the numbers at once.

Read More