• open panel

Using Stories in Presentations – How to Spontaneously Uncover Personal Stories

I worry sometimes that I’m a one-upper… you know, that person that hears you tell a story, then tries to one-up you with a story of their own.

I don’t like to think of myself as a one-upper, but whenever I listen to a story, my mind instantly goes to work searching for something in my background that is similar to the circumstances that I’m hearing.

If you tell me the story of how you met your spouse, I immediately think of the great story about how my …

Read More

From Lame to Fame Presentations – Don’t Blame the Audience for Your Lack of Communication

You’ve seen slides of this ilk before.

The title on the slide said something like the 3 Most Important Points to Remember about XYZ.

That was followed by

1.  Here’s the First Point

2.  Here’s the Second Point


Then instead of the Third Point, the speaker had a cartoon pasted at the bottom of the slide.


It was a cleaver cartoon and the caption along the bottom made the speaker’s third point with brilliance and humor.


But here was the problem.


The cartoon was at the bottom of the slide.  The caption …

Read More

Even Microsoft Is Getting on Board: No More Default PowerPoint!

Many of you know that I’m an Apple convert.  But I have to give props to Microsoft.


Today in Ellen Finkelstein’s newsletter she shared a link to her website where she talks about a series of 15-minute webinars that Microsoft has started.  Thanks Ellen for sharing!!


I watched the first of the series called Working with photos in PowerPoint.  About 8:30 into the webinar, the presenter actually recommends making the photograph bigger and even expanding it outside of the …

Read More

Need More Time in Your Conference Presentation? Drop the Self-Discovery Monologue

One of the common challenges for conference presenters is that you have so much great content to share and a limited time in which to share it.


Whether you’re speaking for 15 minutes to 2 hours, if you’re struggling to have enough time to cover the important items and still leave time for Q&A, there is one place that you can begin that works like a charm — eliminate the Self-Discovery Monologue.


The Self-Discovery Monologue

I confess.  I’ve been guilty of the Self-Discovery Monologue.


It sounds something like …

Read More

Want to Get Better at Public Speaking? Flail Around Like a New Drummer!

At the age of 48 years and 11 months, I decided to take up the drums.  Yes, under this nerdy exterior lurks the heart of a wannabe, uber-cool, rock-n-roll chick.


My son-in-law Eric is an amazing drummer who played professionally in a number of local Atlanta bands.  He offered to give me lessons.


He originally had me pick out a few songs and we decided to start with Eric Clapton’s song Cocaine.


During the first lesson, Eric (the son-in-law, not Mr. Clapton) showed me some basic drum rhythms to …

Read More

Thank You Speeches – What the Oscar Acceptance Speeches Can Teach Us about Good Presentations


I did not watch the Oscars last night.  My latent jealousy of never pursuing my promising yet totally imaginary acting career makes it too painful.  But flipping back and forth between The Apprentice and the Oscars, I did pause to see Meryl Streep win for best actress and listen to her acceptance speech.

Watching her acceptance speech made me naturally draw comparisons between a great acceptance speech and a great presentations.  Here’s what I observed from Meryl’s speech that translates to our …

Read More

Take Your Conference Presentation From Lame to Fame: Remember You Are the Chosen One, so Deliver on the Preview

I saw the previews to Up All Night, a new sitcom on NBC, and thought to myself, “That show looks stupid.  I’ll be skipping that one, thank you very much!”


But one night, shortly after it started, I couldn’t find anything else to watch during that particular 30 minute time slot so I grudgingly watched Up All Night.  It was actually a much better show than I thought it would be.  Now I regularly choose it over other shows.


(Yes, I watch too much …

Read More

Breaking the Business Presentation Rules for Better Presentations

I never had a nick name as a kid.  But if I did, it could easily have been “goody two shoes.”


I was by nature a rule follower.  My mom used to joke that she could threaten to spank me and I’d be good for 3 months!


So I empathize with you if you’re that business professional who is thinking, “Gosh, Kelly.  I don’t know that I want to be the first to step away from the ‘normal’ way of doing business presentations.”


Sure, it’s easier to …

Read More

2012 State of the Union Address – What You Can Learn from President Obama to Improve Your Presentation


Despite my aversion to political speeches, I watched President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address… on YouTube… at this link…


This is the “enhanced” version of the speech posted on the White House YouTube channel.  The “enhanced” version includes the text of the speech as well as presentation slides which came in and out of the speech occasionally.

Based on President Obama’s speech, here are some of the things he did well that the rest of us can learn from.

Get Right to It
There was no blah, blah, blah opening.  After the obligatory welcome message, he started …

Read More

If you could do only one thing to improve your business presentation, what would it be?

What’s In It for Me?

So what’s your presentation about?

I’ve got to show the sales guys how to use a new software.

Why do the sales guys want to learn the new software?


Is it required of their job?


What does the new software do?

It’s the software we’re going to use to track sales in the pipeline.

Read More