• open panel

Self-Evaluation of Your Presentation Strengths and Areas for Improvement

As I mentioned in the last blog post, during our seminar, we asked participants to comment on themselves.  Specifically we asked:

How did you feel?

What did you do well?

What areas do you still want to work on?

One guess as to which question stumped people the most.  If you guessed the second questions, “What did you do well?” then you’d be right.
Why Can’t We Love Ourselves?
OK, maybe that’s a bigger question than a presentations skills blog is prepared to …

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Other People’s Feedback – Getting Better Through the Feedback of Others

Today I facilitated a presentations skills workshop with two talented professional speakers.  After we covered different aspects of strong presentation skills, we had each attendee do a 5-minute presentation of their own.  Of course my colleagues and I provided our feedback but before we did, we asked each of the attendees to state how they felt, comment on what they had done well and explain what they still wanted to work on.   Then, we asked their fellow classmates to talk about …

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Presentation Preparation

Tomorrow I’m doing a public seminar on presentation skills for business leaders with two gentlemen that I have a lot of respect for.  Yesterday, we met to go through the program and I remember thinking “Gosh, I wish we had another week to get ready.”

Please don’t misunderstand.  We’re ready for the presentation tomorrow.  I’m convinced that the attendees will receive great content that will help them improve their presentations.  But I rarely ever feel prepared enough for any presentation.  I guess that’s my form of speech anxiety.

Clients and …

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The Paradox of the Rate of Speaking and Listening

Back in my corporate days, I remember taking a break to use the facilities (which I guess is my way to try and politely say I needed to go potty).  In the office building where I worked, the men’s room and the women’s room were side by side and between them is a large bulletin board.  Along with the obligatory OSHA and HR postings was the monthly safety announcement.  As I’m walking past the men’s room, toward the women’s …

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Don’t “Start with a Bang” – How to Improve the Opening of Your Presentation

I knew it would happen at TEDxAtlanta.  I hoped it wouldn’t.  But it did.  Several of the speakers started their presentations with the old blah, blah, blah opening.  The blah, blah, blah opening occurs when a speaker starts her presentation by… thanking the event planners for having her… or thanking the audience for coming… or mentioning how nervous they are… or stating how the guy before them was a hard act to follow… or any other “blah, blah, blah” that the audience doesn’t care …

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Who Were Your Two Favorite Speakers? Why?

“Who Were Your Two Favorite Speakers?  Why?” Those were the questions that caused me the most pause as I completed the feedback form for the TEDxAtlanta event.

As I thought about the speakers, I was impressed that this year’s line up was predominately women (my first TEDxAtlanta in September 2010, there was only one speakers who was a woman).   I thought about the elements of the messages of different speakers and how they affected me.   I thought about what I would do differently as a …

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Kelly Vandever at TEDxAtlanta – Creativ!ty

Yesterday, March 15, 2011 was the TEDxAtlanta event – the theme:  Creativ!ty.

The presentation skills person in me wanted to praise those presenters that just started with their content … those who got right into a story rather than spending their first few minutes with the blah, blah, blahs (thank you for coming, happy to be here, hate to follow that person, blah, blah, blah).  That side of me also wanted to say “Please just stand still!” to the couple of speakers that seemed to a do-si-do around the platform.   And …

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This Presentation Geek Loves TED… Do You?

Last year, I was networking with a woman who graciously told me about a TEDxAtlanta event.  She explained that I had to apply to attend and that the organizers read the entries to discern who will be given one of the limited seats.  She told me the date they started accepting applications so I marked my calendar.  On the appointed date, I sent in my application and after waiting a couple of anxious days, I was accepted!  Does that make me a total presentation geek?   Let’s just say if there …

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Presentation Skills Books

I recently was chatting with a woman who’s new to the speech coaching business and she asked me what books I’d recommend.  Here’s the list I shared with her.

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds – Changed the way I do PowerPoint. His slides are beautiful! And he gives you enough details that you can do them too.

So What? How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience by Mark Magnacca – It’s like he stole my lines — so of course I agree with his book. Good things to …

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Your Higher Speaking Purpose

I taught two sections of public speaking in the fall of 2010 at Kennesaw State University, the third largest university in the University of System of Georgia.  You hear the old clique, kids are different today than when I was in school – and there’s some truth to that – but maybe not in the way a lot of people think.  Kids today have dreams.  They have ideals.  Their speeches ranged through all kinds of topics but as a whole, they were pretty amazing.  One of my …

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