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Posts Tagged ‘presentation skills’

It’s You or The PowerPoint

By Tom Nixon

Recently I got the chance to see a video of Elaine, the vice-president of the company I was beginning to work with, present to a room of prospective clients. Slide after slide went by, each filled with 5-10 bullets. Elaine read the full text on every one to her audience. I am sure those possible clients sitting in that room were neither impressed with Elaine nor with her message about her company.

Too much (bad) PowerPoint — not enough Elaine.

It is easy to create a mediocre presentation in PowerPoint. Simply take …

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Check, Please

by Bob Goodyear

Imagine that a friend stops by and asks you to come along to help with some kind of an errand.  The first questions you may ask is where are you going and what are you going to be doing.  Wouldn’t you want to know that?

When we present, we need to tell our audience the same things.  We need to tell them where they are going and what they will be doing or hearing.  We need to give them a road map of our presentation up front.

A road map helps …

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3 Reasons to Perfect Your Pause

by Natalie Gallagher

When we are scared, anxious, or excessively nervous, our body kicks into fight-or-flight mode, a natural survival instinct.

Because public speaking can be a terrifying experience for many, the brain can trigger the “flight” response, and cause us to speak as quickly as possible in order to get off the stage as soon as possible. For me, speaking incredibly fast was one of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome to improve my speaking. On stage, my nerves combined with excitement over my topic made it sound like …

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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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Go with the Flow – How to Organize Your Technical Presentation to Get Business Results – Part 4 – Issue-Resolution Structure

During my time in the IT industry, it became clear to me early on that technologist have to have mad problem solving skills.

Using existing technology, trying to meet the needs of the business, finding a work-around for an unusual need.  Great technologists are master problems solvers.   So of course a discussion of the organization of the most common technical presentations has to include the Issue – Resolution Structure

 
4.  Issue – Resolution Approach
Called my many names, this approach general boils down to a combination of:

Here’s the …

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Go with the Flow – How to Organize Your Technical Presentation to Get Business Results – Part 2 – Step-by-Step Structure

I took a training class of Ken Blankard’s years ago called Situational Leadership.  In one exercise, I was set up as a person who was what is term “disillusioned learner” someone with some competency in a task or job, but with low level of confidence.  In the role play, managers used different leadership styles to “manage” me.  I remember experiencing first hand how good it felt to get very detailed direction when I was in the confused state of …

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Go with the Flow – How to Organize Your Technical Presentation to Get Business Results – Part 1 – Start with the End Structure

One of the men I admired early in my career was the late Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jeremy “Mike” Boorda.  At the time I came to know of him, he was in charge of the Naval Personnel Command.

Among the lessons I learned through his leadership was that you can’t just tell people things one way.  Your need to repeat yourself but in different ways to help the information to get through.

I think something similar can be said about presentations, but I’d …

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