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Archive for ‘Conference Presentations’

Don’t Squish Their Heads

by Tom Nixon

I don’t know if this bothers anyone else — maybe it is just me and my graphic design touchiness. But it makes me crazy when I see distorted images — photos of people and objects (like a basketball) that have been stretched or crushed to make them fit a space. It can be seen all the time in slide decks designed by folks who should know better.

The human eye and brain are very aware of even the slightest of these amateur short cuts and that is …

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The 10 Most Popular Speaking Practically Blog Posts of 2015

by Kelly Vandever

As the year draws to a close, it’s time once again to recap the top 10 most visited blog posts of the year.

As you reflect over the last year and begin planning for 2016, we hope you’ll find these topics and thoughts helpful.

Thanks for a great 2015!

Kelly

 
 #1 – What If I Don’t Like the Default Size 16:9 in PowerPoint 2013?

Currently, when opening a new slide …

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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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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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The Gulps and the Good of Seeking Feedback

by Claudia Brogan

It is highly tempting to live inside a little bubble about how we’re doing when delivering our presentations. It is just so appealing to use a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to how things are going, so we just leave well enough alone.

I happen to believe that we can each keep getting better each time we speak: as we polish our skills and practice our delivery, we can strengthen and fine-tune our abilities as a speaker. Tempting as it may be to stay in our comfort zone, …

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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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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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Want to Broadcast a Presentation for Free Online? You Can! With PowerPoint of All Things!

By Kelly Vandever

 

Say you want to present to a colleague in another state. You’d like to share some information or explain a new process and a simple phone call isn’t going to suffice. You need some visual aids to go along with what you’re saying.

Did you know you can use PowerPoint to help yourself out? And it’s free!

Here’s how it works.
Prepare Your PowerPoint Slides
Prepare your presentation slides just like you normally would. You can even include animations, videos or audio files.

 
Optimize Your Media
If you do have media files, be sure to optimize your media first.

Go to File/Info/Optimize Media …

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Never Close Your Presentation With Questions & Answers

by Bob Goodyear

I just finished participating in 3 technical conferences in 3 weeks. During that time, I sat in over 20 presentations. I saw all kinds of different presentation styles. The impact of the presentations was wide ranging as well. There was one common flaw though with almost all of them though. Just about every presenter ended with a Questions and Answers (Q&A) period. DON’T DO THAT!

With almost every presentation, when Q&A began there were some good questions. After the first one or two though, the questions …

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