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Archive for ‘Presentation Tips’

The Wonders of Reduction: Creating a Pithy Speech Just Like a Cook Concentrates the Sauce

by Claudia Brogan

One of the perpetual quests of good speakers is to create and deliver a pithy speech that “packs a lot of punch” without taking extra time. A speech that makes its points clearly and engagingly without becoming redundant.

Ironically, the best speeches can sometimes be the shortest ones. Trimmed and culled. Just like the cooking practice that is called “boiling something down to its essence,” an effective speech takes its ingredients and cooks them together until they are concentrated, well-combined and full of zest. When a cook …

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The 5 C’s of Storytelling: A Follow-up

by Bob Goodyear

I just came back from a sales conference where I had the opportunity to train technical sales teams on various soft skills.  One of the techniques that was taught was the 5 C’s of storytelling, that I’ve written about previously.  After the sessions were over, I had several attendees talk to me.  The most common question I heard was “When do I tell a story in a technical presentation?”

The “traditional” technical sales presentation is considered to be a “data dump” and the expectations are generally very low …

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All Uppercase is Hard to Read

by Tom Nixon

Graphic Design 101: Text, especially in larger quantities, full sentences or small sizes must, above all else, be reader-friendly. It simply has to be easy to read or your audience will not bother to put the effort into digging through it. And to make text the most difficult to read, the most uninviting, set it in ALL CAPS. (When you see all caps in a legal document you can be sure the lawyer who wrote it doesn’t want you to read it).

Using all capital letters …

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Give Your Graph A Point of View

by Tom Nixon

Every part of your presentation should move your audience toward the goal that you set for the entire presentation. Simply dumping a data set into a graph in PowerPoint only gives your audience part of the story — just the raw information.

You are the expert. Ideally they want to know what you think, what you have discovered about the subject, and how you see things. Give your charts and graphs a point of view by emphasizing the specific data that is critical to …

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Information vs. Presentation Decks

 

by Bob Goodyear

Several years ago, I was asked to do a technical sales presentation for a Fortune 100 company that could lead to a very large software contract.  All of the technical decision makers for the company would be in the audience as well as the CIO.  This was a very important meeting for the sales team and I was being asked to come in as an expert to close the technical end of the sale.

As I prepared for the event, the lead sales executive …

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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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The 5 C’s of a Great Story

by Bob Goodyear

 

Over the last few months I have been working with different sales professionals. The goal has been to help them to become better presenters. One of the areas that we talk about is the importance of stories in a sales presentation. I give them a simple formula for creating stories and I will share that with you today. All you need to remember are 5 C’s.

Characters
Context
Conflict
Cure
Carryout

Characters:
First, describe the main characters in your story. What are their names? What role do they have in your story? …

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“We/ I/ They/ You” The Use of Pronouns Can Make All the Difference for Your Presentations

by Claudia Brogan

 

One simple tip that will help polish your public speaking and make a big difference: Using pronouns well can take your presentation from a diatribe, sermon-like lecture to an engaging, inviting talk.

Though this may sound like a tiny, inconsequential matter, the fact is that paying attention to this specific tip about pronouns will mean the difference between an audience feeling like you have “talked down” to them, or an audience feeling like you have humbly shared the lessons you have learned along the …

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