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Archive for ‘Presentation Coaching’

Have a Planned Question for Your Silent Q&A

By Bob Goodyear

Have you ever asked, “Do you have any questions” during your presentation and received no response from the audience? How did that feel? How long did you wait before moving on?

As a technical presenter, it is expected to have a Q&A period during your presentation. However, having no one raise their hand to ask a question is one of the most uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever experienced in my years of presenting. I tried all kinds of methods to handle this. I would many times laugh it off with a …

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Energize a Cold Audience

By Tom Nixon

Many times a speaker, through no fault of their own, steps to the front of the room and faces a cold audience. It could be the time of day, the meal before or after the session, the previous speaker, an organization-wide situation, or even the temperature, setup, and/or lighting of the room. It could be anything. The energy and the expectations are bottomed out. You may well have to struggle to get the power level up.

A presenter can use a number of techniques to open their time and energize …

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Video Rehearsal – The Key to Improving

 

By Bob Goodyear

In an earlier blog post about rehearsing before presenting, I wrote about the importance of doing a video rehearsal. I talked about how hard it is to actually watch it. As a technical presenter, I want to believe that I know my presentation so well that rehearsal is not needed. I swallowed my pride and recently recorded a video in preparation for an upcoming presentation.
What do you do with the video rehearsal once you’ve recorded it?
I suggest that you watch your video three different times. That might seem …

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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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Knowledge You Learn, Wisdom You Earn

By Bob Goodyear

“Knowledge you learn. Wisdom you earn.” When someone asks me about how they can improve their presentations, I sometimes use this phrase. I heard this when I first tried to speak in front of a corporate audience. Let me explain.

When I was in the eighth grade, I decided to study computer science in college. I did that because I could work with machines and not people. While I didn’t know the word back then, I figured out that I was an introvert. The idea that I could work with …

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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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