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Archive for ‘Audience Interaction’

“Word-A-Pa-Looza”

by Claudia Brogan

Making the effort to continually improve and stretch your vocabulary is likely to pay off in spades.

When a speaker uses strong, descriptive words — and uses them correctly! — credibility is strengthened and audience members sit up and take notice.

 

Here are two specific reasons for using strong, descriptive words:

First, studies show that it is good for our own brains to increase brain capacity by stretching to learn new things. No need to do rote memorization of 20 random words, over and over. But more realistically and effectively, it works …

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Presenter, Know Your Audience

by Bob Goodyear

I have been working with a company to help them improve the presentation skills of their technical sales people. One challenge this company has identified is that their sales force struggles with giving the right information to the audience with whom they are meeting. In working together with their management, we have identified two areas where they can improve.

 
Before the meeting
Many technical sales people are asked to come to a meeting and present on a certain topic. When this happens, the person who is asked …

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When A Speaker’s Mind Goes (Completely) Blank

by Claudia Brogan

When working with aspiring speakers, I have found out at least one secret fear that we all have about public speaking.

What will I do if my mind goes blank?

Even more than the fear that there is a trap door in the center of that speaking area, it’s like we WISH there would be a trap door, once our mind has gone blank!

The truth is that this happens to most speakers. The second truth is that –though gulp-inducing— this occurrence is quite survivable, by employing one …

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Rock Your Unglamorous Work!

By Kelly Vandever

One of the things I secretly love (well, not so secret now that you’re reading this) is when I’m in a public gathering and for whatever reason, someone asks the military veterans in the room to stand and be recognized.

OH MY GOD, I LOVE TO STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED AS A VET! Yes, I’m extremely proud that I served my country…but I also dig that I’m one of the few…and sometimes the only…woman who’s standing. The look …

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Simplify the Complex

by Bob Goodyear

In today’s world, information is more readily available to everyone than at any other time in history. A simple search on the internet can find everything from a great chocolate chip cookie recipe to the mapping of the human genome. This ability is a great thing for all of us.

As speakers, many times we want to include everything we know into our presentation and we make it very complex. There is a speakers’ maxim that we need to follow though to be more effective. …

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An Invasion Heading Toward Us

by Claudia Brogan

Watch out, grab your sturdy helmet, prepare to take action: there is an invasion coming. And it’s affecting public speakers and presenters nearly as frequently as newscasters and pundits.

Yes, that’s right. There is indeed an invasion going on. And I like to call it The Invasion of Over-Used and Unneeded Phrases.

Beware. These phrases and tired words can sometimes sneak into your presentations when you least expect them. Perhaps this might happen to us during our speeches, when we’re trying to sound well-educated and intellectual. Or …

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To be an Expert or a Master

 

by Tom Nixon

World-class speaker and business consultant Alan Weiss has said, “Give Me a Double Axis Chart and I Can Rule the World.” That may be overstated a bit but when done carefully these charts can be immensely valuable.

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 represents a core component of my “How to Do PowerPoint Right” Workshop. It is a build slide with each component revealed as I …

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Sound Check, Testing…1, 2

by Bob Goodyear

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

We’re so glad you could attend

Come inside! Come inside!

– Emerson, Lake, and Palmer

You may be asking yourself, “What can this song lyric possibly have to do with speaking?” Well, come inside and I’ll show you!

One of the trivial tasks that a speaker has to do when getting ready for a presentation is to do a sound check. The purpose of the sound check is to test the venue’s sound system and get it tuned in …

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Q&A – A Different Way

by Bob Goodyear

Recently I spoke at a technical conference where the audience was made up of professional technical sales people. My objective was to explain a new technology to this group and have them understand why their customers were looking at implementing it in their datacenters. The traditional way to do this is to have a presenter (me) stand up and explain it for 45 minutes and then open the session to Q&A. I wanted to make the presentation different so I tried something new.

I never …

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Three Simple Words

By Claudia Brogan

Did you ever have some advice given to you that lasts and lasts?

I can remember some wise words taught to me by my amazing mentor and speech class teacher from way back in my high school days.

She started out the class session with giving us a trio of smart words to consider and I have used those 3 simple words nearly every day of my professional speaking life since.

She remarked that if any of us were hoping to be successful speakers, there were really …

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