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Show no slide before its time

by Tom Nixon

Sitting in on a presentation recently, I noticed that the speaker had a habit of advancing to the next slide well before he was ready to speak about it. He was almost finished with the previous topic and had not yet begun to verbally transition to his next point.

Instead of blacking out the screen until he began his next topic he was showing the upcoming visual before it made sense to the audience. I am sure everyone was preoccupied with figuring out where he was going. An unnecessary distraction.

The lesson: …

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Let’s Get Physical: Speaker Tips for Great Presentations

 

 

 

by Claudia W. Brogan

With practice and open, curious minds, our public speaking skills can get better and better. Not only will it help us “up our game” when we practice carefully and polish our own presentation, but it’s helpful too for us to pay close attention to other speakers’ styles and best practices. We can learn continually by watching other speakers. And not only can we learn from watching extraordinary speakers who speak with grace and clarity—we can also learn from watching presenters who have room for improvement.

Truly, I think we …

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How to Improve Gestures While Presenting

By Natalie Gallagher

One of the best scenes from an otherwise mediocre movie was when Will Farrell’s character in “Talladega Nights” couldn’t figure out what to do with his hands while he was speaking in front of a large crowd. While he spoke, his arms slowly kept rising next to him, as if possessed by their own will. The humor stems from the commonality of this issue. All presenters have wondered at one time or another, “What on earth do I do with my hands?” The uncertainty often leads to awkward, distracting, or …

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Don’t Overwhelm Me with Information!

By Pam Leinmiller

It seems that every minute of every day we are bombarded with information. Technology has allowed the flow of facts to happen at hyper-speed and often we are left feeling overloaded. It is no wonder that people leave a conference, presentation, or day of meetings shaking their head. They simply can’t absorb it all, let alone act on it in a meaningful way.

The goal of any presenter is for their audience to remember the information they set out to convey. When attendees walk away from the presentation remembering the …

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The Great Deception: Only 7% of Your Message is Words.

By Mark Kretschmar

How often have you heard the following ubiquitous citation from Albert Mehrabian’s research? “Only 7% of your message is from your words; 93% is from your nonverbals.”

It’s just not true.

Mehrabian’s experiment dealt with what people will believe when your words and your nonverbals don’t match — they will believe the nonverbals. Unless, as a communicator, you plan to be inauthentic most of the time, this number, 93%, does not apply to you.

Mehrabian himself has urged others to stop citing his findings in this inaccurate way.

It’s …

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The Value of Good Slides (or how I justify my obsession with PowerPoint)

By Tom Nixon

I often get a prolonged silence when at various social events I recite my response to “What do you do?”

My reply: “I create visuals for presenters, a.k.a. PowerPoint.” is enough to stop a conversation right there. If I am at a party, that usually signals the time for more liquor or perhaps a trip to the rest room.

I have long given up the need to defend my craft or to explain that what I do is not the usual image of corporate PowerPoint but rather a way of coupling an …

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Rut-Avoidance for Presenters

by Claudia W. Brogan
“I find that even small changes sometimes jog you out of a mental rut.”

~~Tom Perrotta
When I was helping a public health expert prepare for an upcoming presentation, she mentioned how she felt like all her ideas were “regular and predictable.” Her area of academic expertise is nutrition and physical activity, and she was feeling stuck about how to present her ideas in novel, interesting ways. I invited her to take a break from typing her words onto her keyboard, and pause to explain her concepts aloud instead. While …

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How To Be More Persuasive

By Natalie Gallagher

One day the Sun and Wind got into an argument over who was stronger. The Wind spotted a man walking down the road, wearing a jacket. They decided that whoever could get the jacket off the man must surely be the strongest. The Wind went first; he blew and blew in an attempt to remove the jacket. But the harder the Wind blew, the tighter the man held on to his jacket. Next, it was the Sun’s turn. The Sun gradually warmed the man, until he was so warm …

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What’s Your Excuse?

By Pam Leinmiller
I don’t need to turn up my volume…

I don’t need to slow my pace…

I don’t need to enunciate my words…

I don’t need to consider my accent…

I don’t need to add inflection when I talk…

I don’t need to make eye contact with my audience…

… BECAUSE I always use a microphone!!!
Have you ever been to a presentation with a presenter who fits one of these statements? I think each of us has been in the audience when we wished the speaker had not made one of the above assumptions. The big …

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What if There Were No Slides?


By Mark Kretschmar

Spend any time in corporate America and the rule is obvious: When giving a presentation, thou shalt use PowerPoint (or some sort of slideware). Some companies are so locked into PowerPoint, and even a particular style of slide design (usually ineffective), that when someone changes the slides to be more effective, they get blowback. “Where are the bullets!!” “Where’s the logo and tag …

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