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Archive for ‘Presentation Coaching’

Be Yourself, Not Speakerman

By Bob Goodyear

My advice to be yourself when you give a presentation is not new. It is, however, not easy to follow. I learned this the hard way during my very first business presentation.

For the first ten years of my career, I was a software engineer. I was never asked to give a presentation of any kind and I was pretty happy with that. That changed when I was working for a vendor who sold supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. I was asked to give a presentation and, honestly, …

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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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Handling Questions & Answers Like a Real Pro!

by Claudia W. Brogan

When coaching public speakers who want to polish their skills, one subject comes up without fail: What can I do to get ready to handle questions after my presentation?

Even the most seasoned, well-prepared speakers fear that audience members will try to trip us up. Or that an audience member will stand up to deliver his or her very own monologue at the end, explaining how our content or delivery — or both — were just less than satisfactory. Or a nagging thought comes to a speaker, that, “There …

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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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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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Need/Don’t Need: 5 Categories of information for PowerPoint presentations

By Tom Nixon

Try using these 5 categories of information to label and use content in your slides. Consider going through your script, your outline, your content and categorize them from 1 to 5. These labels describe how a particular piece of information relates to the needs of the audience not how it fits into your content or to your understanding of the subject.

Your BIG IDEA. This is the theme of your presentation. The one central concept that all portions of your slides, handouts and talk must relate to.
MUST DELIVERS. These …

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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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Wise, Witty Ways to Begin Your Presentations Well

By Claudia Brogan

Rather than “limp” in to your next presentation, pay attention to boldly choose a good Attention-Getting introduction. Grab the audience by the lapels so to speak, make them say a quiet thoughtful “ahh,’ or tickle their funny bone. The next time you have the opportunity to deliver a speech, training session or presentation, give special thought to how you can start off vividly.

These specific methods may help you get unstuck, or may spark a new idea for creating your next good speech-beginning.

Deftly use humor or an opening quote.

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Don’t Let Your Slides Tie You Down

by Tom Nixon
Long ago I would start my PowerPoint presentations standing next to the screen so that the audience could see both my slides and me.
A trusted coach suggested that was the weakest spot I could stand in – in the shadows, back and to the side, away from my audience. This is where I would begin my presentations! Not good.
Presenters often have great difficulty avoiding the beam of light from their projectors. The projection device is often on a table or hanging from a low ceiling in a conference room or …

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