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Top 5 Blog Posts of 2018

Time for our annual review of the top blog posts of 2018!  Drum roll please!!!

#5 – How to Give a Presentation Without Using Notes
By Natalie Gallagher

Pop quiz: What’s the best way to lose your place during your presentation?

 Answer: Look down at your notes.

It’s counterintuitive, isn’t it? After all, shouldn’t your carefully prepared notes mean you have a greater chance of success? Sometimes, sure. But more often than not, presenters use notes as a crutch because they don’t trust their own brains to keep track of it all. …

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Speak from the Heart

 

By Kelly Vandever

When people find out I’m a presentation coach, they’re often intimidated to present when I’m in the audience.

I hate that I cause stress, especially because, I think when it comes down to it, sincerity makes up for a lot of ills when you’re presenting. And I see so many presenters that speak with truth and sincerity on their topic and it’s that truth and that sincerity that make their audiences fall in love with them.

As we near the end of the year, remember your truth when you’re preparing for …

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by Mark Kretschmar

All fundamental presentation training has you start with an Introduction (tell them what you’re going to tell them), a Body (tell them), and a Conclusion (tell them what you told them). This rule is not as damaging as some previous rules we’ve already toppled – it’s just a little simplistic. You likely learned this rule in your high school or college Freshman speech class. The rule is founded in the flawed Typical Presentation Paradigm – a presentation is a transfer of information. If your presentation is constructed simply as a transfer of …

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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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