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Archive for ‘Presentation Tips’

Is It Ever OK to Cry When You’re Presenting? It Depends.

I watched a TED Talk recently in which the speaker, Dr. Peter Attia, choked up.  His throat caught as he appeared to be fighting back tears.  The emotions which surfaced were a mixture of regret, remorse and shame.  He came across as sincere and committed to the topic of this talk – challenging the way we think about diabetes and obesity.

Here’s his TED Talk.

 Is It Ever OK to Cry When You’re Presenting?  It Depends
While this ultimately has to be a question that each presenter must answer for his or herself, here are some rules …

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Public Speaker Values – Kelly Vandever’s Personal Beliefs of What Makes a Good Trainer

I attended a couple of training programs lately as part of my own professional development.  I had vastly different reactions to the instructors who facilitated the different classes.

Instructor # 1 was exceptional – a role model, someone I’d want to get to know better and keep in touch with, and learn from.  She was just that good.

Instructor # 2 – drove me up the wall and across the ceiling.  The longer the class went on, the more frustrated I became.

As I reflect …

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Public Speaking – How Much Rehearsal Is Too Much Rehearsal? How Much Is Too Little?

“Try it again.”

That’s what my marine drill instructor said when I went to his office and tried to remember the protocol that he’d just taught us when requesting to speak with him.  I was at the Naval Science Institute, my version of boot camp for the Navy.

It was our first day being in the military.  I needed to ask the DI a question.

What I was supposed to do and say was…

Stand next to his door …

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Public Speaking Training Online? What Good Can Come from Practicing a Presentation Online.

I was talking recently to a college professor who is teaching public speaking in a “blended” learning environment.  I didn’t get the impression that it was his idea but portions of the class were conducted online rather than in a traditional classroom.

I must have involuntarily made a face because he said, “I know, it seems a little strange.  A public speaking class — online.  But one thing I notice is that the students, who had to record their speeches online for me to watch, …

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Common Reasons People Use Ums and Ahs in Public Speaking – And How to Avoid Them (the Ums and Ahs, Not the People) – Part 3

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, early on in Toastmasters, I was the Queen of Ums and Ahs.  I have gotten a lot better.  But even now, when the grammarian does his or her report, I still hold my breath when he/she calls my name.

The worst part about the number of ums and ahs I commonly said was that I was totally oblivious to just how many ums and ahs I was saying.  And you can bet that I had just as many ahs …

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Common Reasons People Use Ums and Ahs in Public Speaking – And How to Avoid Them (the Ums and Ahs, Not the People) – Part 2

When I was a little girl, I remember some of my Girl Scout friends and I walking through a wooded area singing the lyrics, “I can see clearly now the rain has gone.  I can see all obstacles in my way.”  And then we would (fake) slam into a tree and laugh, and laugh at how clever we were!

While we were faking being blind-sided, there are times when you honestly don’t see it coming.  You go to a meeting or event with no expectations and you’re put on the …

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Common Reasons People Use Ums and Ahs in Public Speaking – And How to Avoid Them (the Ums and Ahs, Not the People) – Part 1

If you’re not familiar with Toastmasters, it’s the world’s leading organization for helping people get better at public speaking.  One of the ways they help people is there is a particular role that a member of a Toastmasters club plays during a meeting called the “Grammarian.”

It’s the grammarian’s job to listen for people saying filler sounds, such as “um” and “ah,” while people are speaking.  The grammarian also listens for common crutch phrases such as “you know,” “I mean,” “and so I’m like,” or any other …

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Why You Can’t Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

On a street in Spain with my mom and kid brother.

I was a Navy brat growing up and my dad was stationed in Spain for 4 years when I was in grade school.  While living in Spain, I picked up a few words of Spanish.  We lived in the Andalusia territory of southern Spain and I’m told that I pronounce certain words with an Andalusian accent.  (At …

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The Top 3 Ways Speakers Confuse Their Audiences

If you’ve ever been on a webinar you know that most webinar tools have a “chat” feature.  It’s a place where participants can go to ask questions of the presenter.

Earlier today I was on a webinar hosted by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD).  As you can see from the picture in this post, I asked of the presenter “can you give examples to help us understand.”  As I continued to listen, I saw Sarah Gilbert type in …

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Webinar Polling – It’s Not Just for Pretending that You’re Interacting with the Audience Anymore!

Some of you youngsters reading this may not remember the days before online.  But for us old folks, I remember attending my first WebEx event.  The instructor had us take a cheesy poll, I forget about what.  Except back then, it was such a “gee whiz” thing – to be listening on a conference call line and seeing the same screen as people across the country – that we didn’t mind the cheesy poll.

The technology and the vendors have expanded since I was first exposed to WebEx.  Yet many …

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