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Archive for ‘Audience’

Finding That Topic in the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Your Venn Diagram

By Claudia Brogan

One of my very favorite bloggers in the arena of communication is Andrew Dlugan (“Six Minutes”). Heaven only knows where he comes up with the excellent topics and resources that he shares for teachers, speakers and trainers. Oh wait…it’s not just Heaven that knows. Actually, Andrew generously divulges a great tool for coming up with good speaking subjects.

He calls this the “Secret of choosing successful speech topics” and I highly recommend to you his thorough, thought-provoking blog piece linked below.

Consider finding that “sweet spot” right in the …

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The Wonders of Reduction: Creating a Pithy Speech Just Like a Cook Concentrates the Sauce

by Claudia Brogan

One of the perpetual quests of good speakers is to create and deliver a pithy speech that “packs a lot of punch” without taking extra time. A speech that makes its points clearly and engagingly without becoming redundant.

Ironically, the best speeches can sometimes be the shortest ones. Trimmed and culled. Just like the cooking practice that is called “boiling something down to its essence,” an effective speech takes its ingredients and cooks them together until they are concentrated, well-combined and full of zest. When a cook …

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The 5 C’s of Storytelling: A Follow-up

by Bob Goodyear

I just came back from a sales conference where I had the opportunity to train technical sales teams on various soft skills.  One of the techniques that was taught was the 5 C’s of storytelling, that I’ve written about previously.  After the sessions were over, I had several attendees talk to me.  The most common question I heard was “When do I tell a story in a technical presentation?”

The “traditional” technical sales presentation is considered to be a “data dump” and the expectations are generally very low …

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All Uppercase is Hard to Read

by Tom Nixon

Graphic Design 101: Text, especially in larger quantities, full sentences or small sizes must, above all else, be reader-friendly. It simply has to be easy to read or your audience will not bother to put the effort into digging through it. And to make text the most difficult to read, the most uninviting, set it in ALL CAPS. (When you see all caps in a legal document you can be sure the lawyer who wrote it doesn’t want you to read it).

Using all capital letters …

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How to Tell a Darn Good Story

by Natalie Gallagher

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, on a dark and stormy night, people used to sit around the fire at night and tell each other stories. In fact, we were storytellers long before we had even developed a written language; stories connected us, taught valuable lessons, and created a shared history.

Storytelling continues to be integral to who we are, and mastering telling a great story is a great way to connect with any audience.  But how do we craft a great story? …

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Quotable Quotes

by Claudia Brogan

Why do we take the time to include quotes in our presentations and speeches?

Though there are many ways to answer that question, I believe that we do so to get the clear attention of our audience, to provide encouragement and perspective, and to frame a useful lesson in a pithy way.

When making final preparations for a recent panel presentation, my co-presenter asked me to swiftly choose three great quotes that would epitomize my key points. The spontaneous idea was to create a handout of pithy …

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“We/ I/ They/ You” The Use of Pronouns Can Make All the Difference for Your Presentations

by Claudia Brogan

 

One simple tip that will help polish your public speaking and make a big difference: Using pronouns well can take your presentation from a diatribe, sermon-like lecture to an engaging, inviting talk.

Though this may sound like a tiny, inconsequential matter, the fact is that paying attention to this specific tip about pronouns will mean the difference between an audience feeling like you have “talked down” to them, or an audience feeling like you have humbly shared the lessons you have learned along the …

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Never Underestimate the Power of Cute!

by Tom Nixon

Cat videos, puppy pictures, kids selling lemonade — there is no greater power than when you use cute to grab some attention, even if it is a little off message. If you can show a picture of your kids and tell a relevant story about the time they learned a life lesson you will hit a home run. Emotions connect deeply.

 

 

 

Tom Nixon has over 3 decades of experience assisting clients with meaningful business communications. Contact Tom to see how he can work with your …

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Key Targets (and being willing to let go of “The Precious”)

by Claudia Brogan

Not long ago, I helped a talented scientist prepare to deliver an important presentation. He had compiled numerous pages of data, research, and facts about the selected topic. The biggest problem was that the overload of information was dense and cloudy. After I read the prepared pages, I met with him to discuss preparations and ways to design a presentation that would be useful for the listeners.

As we discussed demographics about the audience that he would be meeting with, I broached the question of how …

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Anchor Your Presentation

by Bob Goodyear

Have you ever sat in on a presentation or speech and couldn’t remember the points the speaker was making just 10 minutes after it was done? Maybe you remember that you felt good about what was being said but you just couldn’t talk about specifics to anyone afterwards. That is incredibly frustrating to me as an audience member. It’s even MORE frustrating, however, to me as the speaker because that tells me that I didn’t do a good job making my points memorable.

How can we …

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