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An Invasion Heading Toward Us

by Claudia Brogan

Watch out, grab your sturdy helmet, prepare to take action: there is an invasion coming. And it’s affecting public speakers and presenters nearly as frequently as newscasters and pundits.

Yes, that’s right. There is indeed an invasion going on. And I like to call it The Invasion of Over-Used and Unneeded Phrases.

Beware. These phrases and tired words can sometimes sneak into your presentations when you least expect them. Perhaps this might happen to us during our speeches, when we’re trying to sound well-educated and intellectual. Or …

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The Leadership Balancing Act – Professional vs. Personal

 

By Kelly Vandever

One of the things that makes leadership difficult is that it’s not a matter of “do these three things and you’ll be a great leader.” Leadership is very nuanced. Leadership is adjusting to dichotomies that both need to be true. Leadership is a balancing act.

Over the next few posts, we’ll take a look at what that balancing act looks like for leaders and give you some thoughts on how you might deal with the gray that comes from your leadership role.

The first of these topics…maintaining a …

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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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Sound Check, Testing…1, 2

by Bob Goodyear

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

We’re so glad you could attend

Come inside! Come inside!

– Emerson, Lake, and Palmer

You may be asking yourself, “What can this song lyric possibly have to do with speaking?” Well, come inside and I’ll show you!

One of the trivial tasks that a speaker has to do when getting ready for a presentation is to do a sound check. The purpose of the sound check is to test the venue’s sound system and get it tuned in …

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Where Are Your Feet?

by Claudia Brogan

Your base, your foundation, your roots.

In a recent coaching session for a professional who wants to keep improving his presentation skills, he asked for clear, useful feedback. “How can I get better at delivering my message?” he asked. “How can I polish my delivery and effectiveness?”

Smart of him to ask those questions. I happen to think that none of us is ever done learning. We’ll benefit immensely if we stay curious—seeking new feedback and helpful suggestions.

In order to give him specific ideas, I watched …

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Permission to Speak: The Dignity and Power of Speech

by Kelly Vandever

In their May 2015 issue, Toastmaster magazine republished an article titled, The Hanoi Hilton Toastmasters by Jan Henrikson (the article was originally published in the October 1999).

I was struck by the quote, “The [Toastmasters] activities were aimed at helping the men rebuild their dignity. They spoke to feel themselves alive, to activate the elegance and nobility of the human spirit under impossible circumstances.”

While an Ensign in the US Navy, I had the privilege of hearing CDR Ralph Gaither speak to a group of newly commissioned officers. …

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Our Greatest Enemies

by Tom Nixon

This is an effective quote slide that speaks to the constant struggle that many feel when challenging their boundaries. The evocative quote is coupled with a subtle image that offers the viewer an opportunity to read their own experiences and thoughts into the scene.

 

 

 

Tom Nixon has over 3 decades of experience assisting clients with meaningful business communications. Contact Tom to see how he can work with your business leaders and subject matter experts to create stunning visual presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.) and enhance their on-stage delivery.

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Q&A – A Different Way

by Bob Goodyear

Recently I spoke at a technical conference where the audience was made up of professional technical sales people. My objective was to explain a new technology to this group and have them understand why their customers were looking at implementing it in their datacenters. The traditional way to do this is to have a presenter (me) stand up and explain it for 45 minutes and then open the session to Q&A. I wanted to make the presentation different so I tried something new.

I never …

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Three Simple Words

By Claudia Brogan

Did you ever have some advice given to you that lasts and lasts?

I can remember some wise words taught to me by my amazing mentor and speech class teacher from way back in my high school days.

She started out the class session with giving us a trio of smart words to consider and I have used those 3 simple words nearly every day of my professional speaking life since.

She remarked that if any of us were hoping to be successful speakers, there were really …

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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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