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Archive for ‘Presentation Coaching’

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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Design Principles for your Presentations: both literally and figuratively

By Claudia Brogan

One of my speaking heroes recently recommended to me the fine books by Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen and Presentation Zen Design. Whether you consider yourself an experienced graphic artist or are early in your development of presentation design, you’ll certainly find unique and borrowable tips that you can relate to and act on. Reynolds has a knack for trimming ideas to their elegant, clarified essence.

I highly recommend that speakers learn Reynolds’ key presentation ideas. One crisp, clear overview with a useful introduction to the principles of Garr Reynolds can …

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3 Rehearsal Tips

By Bob Goodyear

Over the last few months, I’ve helped two people prepare for important presentations they were scheduled to give. As they created their content and fine-tuned their PowerPoint decks, they both asked the best way to practice for the actual presentation. Today, I’ll share with you the 3 tips I gave them about rehearsing for a presentation.
Tip #1 – Always rehearse verbally
This simple tip is often ignored by presenters. Early in my presenting career I considered rehearsal to be nothing more than putting my slides in presentation mode and just thinking …

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3 Whiteboard Tips

by Bob Goodyear

One of the most effective methods for presenting is using a whiteboard instead of a PowerPoint deck. I really like to use the whiteboard because it allows me to be able to ask questions and reflect the responses from my audience on the whiteboard. While we talk a lot about PowerPoint on this blog with our resident expert, Tom Nixon, I feel like we have short-changed other methods of presenting. Because of that, I want to share 3 whiteboard tips with you to help you have another method of …

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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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Why Speakers Do Well To Learn About Brain-Post

Image source: FLICKR – JohnDiew0107

By Claudia Brogan

I have always been captivated with the connection between public speaking skills and how the brain works. Learning about brain and cognitive science is quite intriguing, and can provide illuminating topics for public speakers.
Why include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements in your speech?
Knowing that audience members use their visual, auditory, and kinesthetic senses throughout the presentation helps the speaker address each of those senses.

Speakers can insert visual illustrations via PowerPoint, objects and props, expressive facial gestures, or hand movements which amplify the speech.

Auditory …

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