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5 Golden Rules of Speaking to Promote Your Business, Without Turning Off Your Audience – Rule # 2 – Involve the Audience in the Discussion

Before doing new material in front of an audience, I like to bounce the ideas off of friend, family and other speakers and trainers.  That helps me get my message better honed and delivered.  But one thing I’ve noticed is that I still learn so much from my audience.  As I learn from audiences, it helps the others in the session get more valuable information and it helps me improve my content for future audiences.

I remember being on one particular webinar about using Twitter …

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Presenting on Topics No One Wants to Hear About? Create Your Own Zombie Apocalypse ala the CDC!

I don’t know who’s idea it was to create a CDC campaign based on the Zombie Apocalypse but I think the idea was BRILLIANT!

Think about it.  They took a subject that we all know is good for us but which we don’t really like to do anything about it – preparing for natural and man-made disasters –– and turned it into a pile of fun!

People have struggled to do presentations on topics that while they find interesting and important but …

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How Goizueta Business School’s MBA Program Measured Presentation Effectiveness during their Annual Marketing Strategy Consultancy Presentation Day Competition – Did They Get It Right?

I only got to see two presentations when I served as a judge for Emory University’s Goizueta Business School’s MBA program’s annual Marketing Strategy Consultancy Presentation Day Competition.  With six teams competing in total, I felt lucky that one of the presentations I saw won second place in the competition.  I’m not surprised that the team placed.  The group provided their client with valuable content, presented their information in a well-organized manner and engaged the audience with flare and fun.

In a previous post …

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5 Golden Rules of Speaking to Promote Your Business, Without Turning Off Your Audience – Rule #1 Provide Valuable Content

I was raised in the Christian church and memorized the Golden Rule early:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It helped influence my behavior as a child and stayed with me into adulthood.  According to at least one website, people of other faith traditions also have a similar sentiments –

“And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself.”      —Baha’i Faith, …

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How Do You Measure the Quality of a Presentation?

Atlanta’s Emory University’s Goizueta Business School’s MBA program has an annual Marketing Strategy Consultancy Presentation Day Competition.  Alumni and members of the business community serve as judges to teams of eager MBA students presenting their findings related to a business marketing issue that companies have hired them to research.  I applied and was accepted as a judge this year.

Picture six or seven member teams presenting their findings to their clients and a room of 75 business professionals who are complete strangers.  Besides observing the …

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Commencement Address Dissection

My son graduated from college on Friday!  Cum laude!  We’re so proud!  He worked so hard and we know he’s going to go on to wonderful things in his future.  I’m sure I’ll write about those future victories on the blog too!

Of course, anyone who has attended a graduation ceremony knows that inevitably there will be a speaker who makes the obligatory commencement address.  As a presentation geek, I may have been the only one in the gymnasium looking forward to the speech.  Unfortunately, …

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What Comes First? You or Your Prospect? In a Presentation, It Had Better Be the Prospect!

The chief information officer at a start up technology company asked me to sit down with Bill, his senior system architect, to talk about his presentation skills.   Bill was often called on by the company president to attend sales calls because Bill knows more about the software than any one else in the company.  Bill and the company president had been on a sales call the prior week that hadn’t gone the way they’d liked.  I asked Bill to tell me about it….

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Getting Below the Surface – Learn What Really Matters to Your Audience

An attorney friend of mine was telling me about jury selection on one of his cases.  He’s a prosecutor here in the Atlanta metro area and was trying a gang related case.  One of the people he let on the jury was a mother who had sons that had become involved with gangs.  “They finally grew out of it and got their acts together,” according to mom.

“Why would the defense attorney let her on the jury?” he asked me, dumbfounded.

“Well, maybe he thinks that she’ll …

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It’s Not Enough to Represent a Just Cause – How Can You Reach Your Audience?

I attended a panel discussion of a group of senior executives this morning.  The moderator asked the panel a question about employee retention.  One executive responded that he works to make sure his staff understands how their responsibilities fit into the bigger picture of the company.  He said, “We’re not curing cancer, but what we do is still pretty important.”  Another panelist agreed in the approach and reiterated, “Well we’re not curing cancer, but it’s important to our clients.”  One executive on the panel actually …

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Does Your Presentation Support the Impact You Want to Happen on the Face of the Earth?

“So, Kelly, what did you think about those slide?  I tried to get a look at your face while they were showing their slides but I couldn’t see you.  So I just had to ask you, what did you think!”

The professional association meeting had just ended.  The slides were typical for corporate presentations:  lots of bullet points, lots of words, impossible-to-read complex diagrams.  People who know me know that I teach others how to do slides which are more visually appealing and which actually improve …

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