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Archive for ‘Audience’

To be an Expert or a Master

By Tom Nixon

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 is a build slide with each component revealed as the presenter introduces them so that the audience can understand how the chart works without the initial confusion caused by showing the entire chart at once.

The goal here is to show how presentation technique and the complexity of the content work together to affect how the audience responds to the speaker.

The vertical …

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Begin With a Bang

By Bob Goodyear

Coming up with a good presentation opening is difficult. Because of that, many times the presenter will just default to an opening that sounds something like this.

“Hello. My name is Joe Presenter. Thank you for inviting me here. I appreciate the time you are giving to me to speak. I hope what I have to say will be interesting to you. Today I’m going to tell you about the 93 great features of my product.”

How many times have you heard an introduction like that? How many times …

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The Danger of Too Much Information

By Tom Nixon

Too much information? In general, the reason any of us are standing in front of the room for any kind of presentation is that we know what we are talking about. We are experts. We know the material and we have the ability to go deep into our content. And therein lies a problem — especially when it come to visual presentations — we just have too much information and we feel we must deliver it all to our audience.

“A little bit is good. Maybe a few more slides …

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A Presentation is Essentially a Performance

By Sarah Browne

You climb a stage and speak into a microphone to address a packed room of live audience. Does that mean a stand-up comedian, a vocal artist, and a political leader are also delivering a presentation just like you? Does that mean you need to be as entertaining as they are for delivering a business presentation?

Public speaking or presentations happen on a stage, therefore it is essentially a performance. This part is often overlooked by most orators who are criticized as boring presenters. Yes, a presentation has to be entertaining …

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Fire Hose Delivery

by Tom Nixon

The highly respected expert stepped to the stage and announced that he was going to “turn on the fire hose” and let the audience have everything he knows about the presentation’s topic. In a perfect world, all the brilliant insights that would tumble from his lips in this presentation would be eagerly assimilated by everyone in his audience. But in this world, that doesn’t happen. As a matter of fact, as presenters we are lucky if two or three of our important points register with just a few of …

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Ways to use Storytelling in the Workplace

By Kelly Vandever

So maybe you’ve read some of our earlier posts about storytelling.

You get that storytelling can form connections, make information more memorable, link to a person’s emotion, grab attention, yada yada ya.  But you’re not sure when and where you would use storytelling in your workplace.

Let us clear up that mystery now! Here are 11 ways you can use storytelling at work.
For Motivational Inspirational
Company meetings – Tell stories about where you came from and how that connects with serving your customers. Tell the story of what your …

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How to Make Complex Info Accessible for Your Audience

By Natalie Gallagher
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” –Albert Einstein
One of the biggest challenges speakers face, especially speakers who are experts in their field, is how to make complex information accessible and relatable to the audience. Whenever I address this topic with my clients, the immediate push-back I get is, “I don’t want to dumb it down.” I expect this reaction, because most of us are not only attached to our work, we’re attached to being experts in our field.

However, making something simple or accessible isn’t …

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Who Are You Speaking To, Anyway?

By Claudia Brogan

Back when I was in high school speech class, little did I guess that my life’s journey would be focused upon ways to improve speaking skills and communication in the workplace. All I knew back then, as a junior in high school, was how fascinated I was to learn the principles of public speaking…and survive my next assigned speech for Mrs. Witmer’s class.

One day, she really got our attention with a provocative question, and her words that day have stayed with me all my life.

“There are three most important …

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3 Questions to Ask to Get to Know Your Audience

By Bob Goodyear

I’ve presented to several groups over the last few months about how to create a great presentation. One of the first things I mention is the need to “know your audience.” I even wrote a blog post about this earlier. In my conversations with these groups though, I’ve heard that they know this but what they want to understand is WHAT they need to know about the audience. They want some specific questions that they can answer. Today I’ll share three of the questions that I …

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Spit and polish: Trimming your speech will win you big points

By Claudia Brogan

I once worked as speaker-coach for a highly-educated scientist who was invited to make a presentation on the topic of his professional research. He brought to our first planning meeting a script of 11 double-spaced pages. With a greeting and a straight face, he placed them on the desk. I read through the pages with great respect, then set them down with care, and asked him, “Dr. C, what are the three most essential points you want to make in this presentation?”

Silence. Finally he pointed to the 11 pages …

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