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Archive for ‘Audience’

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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A Simple Strategy for Maintaining Eye-Contact During Presentations

By Natalie Gallagher

I was recently speaking to a friend who has had to give various types of speeches throughout the past year, and he was stumped about how to maintain eye-contact with the audience in a meaningful, effective manner. He was especially curious about an old tip he learned (which involves choosing one or two people in the audience to focus on throughout the speech), but he was having trouble implementing it in a natural way. While focusing on only a few specific people in the audience does work well for …

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A Lesson on Presentation from the Beatles

By Bob Goodyear

Last month my wife and I took a 24-hour trip to Las Vegas. We went just to see the Cirque du Soleil show called The Beatles LOVE. It’s a show that we both really enjoy. As a matter of fact, this was my fourth time in 10 years to see it.

While the acts in the show have changed over the years, the one constant theme is the Beatles’ music. This time while watching the show, I noticed something about the music that I had not paid …

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Generations in Your Audience

By Kelly Vandever

I was talking to a colleague recently about having different generations in our training sessions.

“You know these young people today.” She said, “They have such short attention spans.”

To which I replied, “Young people. Heck. I HAVE a short attention span! If I notice a YouTube video goes a 6 whole minutes, I sigh and think, ‘Gosh, do I really want to invest 6 whole minutes of my time watching this video? Ugh?!’”

I went on to tell her about Mary from our church. She’s the one who arranges for elders …

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Give the Audience YOUR View

By Bob Goodyear

Last week I was invited to be a guest speaker at an open house for a Toastmasters club. The subject of my speech was “Tell a Technical Tale.” I was speaking about the importance of stories in all presentations but specifically in presentations on technical subjects. I learned something very important as I was preparing—I needed to shift my view.

Storytelling in business and especially in presentations has become, in my opinion, the latest business trend. It’s almost impossible to go to a business website or publication without seeing at …

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It’s You or The PowerPoint

By Tom Nixon

Recently I got the chance to see a video of Elaine, the vice-president of the company I was beginning to work with, present to a room of prospective clients. Slide after slide went by, each filled with 5-10 bullets. Elaine read the full text on every one to her audience. I am sure those possible clients sitting in that room were neither impressed with Elaine nor with her message about her company.

Too much (bad) PowerPoint — not enough Elaine.

It is easy to create a mediocre presentation in PowerPoint. Simply take …

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Just Say No

by Claudia Brogan

Not long ago I served as a speaking-coach for a highly intelligent scientist as he prepared to deliver an upcoming presentation. I can still remember our first meeting as we began the speech preparation process. For a 45-minute presentation timeslot, he brought 10 pages of script, double-spaced, lengthy, and dense. In a sense, he couldn’t resist the temptation to tell the audience everything he knew about his topic. We set those voluminous notes aside and created a brief list of the most crucial and timely ideas that …

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