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Archive for ‘Technical Presentations’

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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Should I Change the Corporate Presentation?

By Bob Goodyear

Several months ago, I was speaking with a group of technical sales engineers about how to make a great customer presentation. As our time was almost over, I asked if anyone had any questions before we did our final work. One very experienced engineer spoke up.

“Bob, this seminar has been really good. I see where I can change the way I present. My question however, involves using the corporate presentations or templates we are given. They generally don’t follow the format that we have learned today. Should I change …

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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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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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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 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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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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To be an Expert or a Master

 

by Tom Nixon

World-class speaker and business consultant Alan Weiss has said, “Give Me a Double Axis Chart and I Can Rule the World.” That may be overstated a bit but when done carefully these charts can be immensely valuable.

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 represents a core component of my “How to Do PowerPoint Right” Workshop. It is a build slide with each component revealed as I …

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Need to Show a Website While You Present? Two Quick Tricks Using PowerPoint

By Kelly Vandever

Recently I watched a conference presenter who used Google docs slides as part of a presentation. In addition to his Google slides, he went to the live websites (rather than using a screen shot of the website) because the live sites better illustrated the points he was making.

When he came to the point in his presentations where he wanted to show a website, he stopped, look across a dozen or so open tabs, found the one he wanted, clicked on it, then resumed his discussion.

It’s wasn’t a huge deal though it did interrupt the flow of …

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Three Reasons to Hire a Presentation Coach

by Kelly Vandever

Reese came to me thinking he wanted to hire me to coach him.

“I get nervous when I stand up to speak.”

“Tell me about the kinds of presentations you do.”

“Well I mostly talk with potential clients – one or two people at a time – and I have no problem with that. But when I’m at a networking event and have to stand up in front of 20 people to say what I do, I get really nervous.”

“Reese, you could spend …

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