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Archive for ‘Presentation Structure’

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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5 Ways to Increase Authenticity in Your Presentations

        by Natalie Gallagher

Most speakers, with enough practice, can overcome the common pitfalls of a bad presentation: using too many “ums” and “ahs,” using too many notes, not moving around the stage, figuring out what to do with your arms, etc. But even the most experienced speakers struggle with something that keeps their presenting from being truly great: authenticity.

Authenticity is what connects you to the audience; it’s what gets them to really pay attention and engage with your material. And it’s what …

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A Quick Fade

by Tom Nixon

Animation in PowerPoint or Keynote is a very slippery slope. It seems that the average user cannot resist the urge to fly in text or spin transitions from one slide to the next. Additionally, they must feel that once is certainly not enough — the stunning effect has to be repeated dozens, if not hundreds of times.

The average audience member doesn’t quite see it that way. The zooming and flying quickly becomes amateurish and nauseating for your viewers. I generally coach anyone but an experienced …

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5 Tip Top Ways to Regain Your Lost Audience Members

by Claudia Brogan

Each of us knows the feeling: you have carefully prepared your presentation, have dutifully followed Tom Nixon’s tips on designing a pithy, useful set of slides. You have practiced faithfully, researched your audience and your topic. And there you stand, right up at the front of the room, smoothly heading through your remarks and key points. And there, to your observant eye, appears the sight of a distracted or confused audience member. Perhaps this person checked out for a brief minute to check their …

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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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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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Making Data Meaningful

by Tom Nixon

An ongoing challenge that technical presenters have is how can large data sets in charts and graphs be presented without overwhelming the audience. Showing the full set of raw data is often necessary to establish a starting point or source. It may also be important to not appear to be “dumbing-down” the information. But a slide with dozens or even hundreds of data points simply cannot be assimilated from the screen.

The solution is to make the data meaningful by distilling down your numbers to just …

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Surround Your Words with Space

by Tom Nixon

Experienced speakers and designers know the power of space. Speakers use the auditory device of the pause; for the designer it can be the visual use of white space.

In either form it is the equivalent of a stunning image viewed by itself on an otherwise unadorned wall in a museum. We are setting apart something special from the rest of our noisy world. Space (or the pause) conveys the subliminal message that this is important – pay attention.

If you are designing a slide, use space to illustrate …

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Presenter, Know Your Audience

by Bob Goodyear

I have been working with a company to help them improve the presentation skills of their technical sales people. One challenge this company has identified is that their sales force struggles with giving the right information to the audience with whom they are meeting. In working together with their management, we have identified two areas where they can improve.

 
Before the meeting
Many technical sales people are asked to come to a meeting and present on a certain topic. When this happens, the person who is asked …

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Don’t be afraid of big fonts!

by Tom Nixon

In general the defaults and templates that ship with PowerPoint and other programs are meek and mild in the font size department. Go bold and use large, short headlines to introduce your ideas. Once you begin to use keywords instead of complete sentences or (gasp) paragraphs in your bullets you can enlarge those words for maximum effect.

 

 

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

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