• open panel

Tricks for Making Your Slides Look Their Best

In the 4th grade I asked my mom if I could go to summer school.  One of the teachers was teaching an acting class over the summer and I wanted to go in the worst way.  She agreed and I played my first role ever – Mr. Allen.  I took more acting classes in high school and college and acting in several community theater productions in recent years.

Stage actors have a number of tricks that they use that the audience may not notice, …

Read More
 

Picture This

“Where did you get the picture of those hospital beds?”  That was the question Marty asked me when we were reviewing the slides for one of his presentations.

I’ve discussed in an early post about the power of using slides with pictures and one or two words rather than bullet points and tons of words.  But I never mentioned where you can find great pictures.  Sure you can Google for images.  But sometimes those photos don’t have the quality that you’re …

Read More
 

Getting to Know Your Audience, Prospects, and Clients – Part 2 – New School Social Media

SoCon is a big social media conference that takes place at Kennesaw State University in January or February each year.  I was a speaker at SoCon11 and tweeted frequently before the event using their conference hashtag.  I also followed the hashtag to see what the organizers, other presenters and attendees were saying about the event.  When I showed up at the Friday night mixer, it was funny.  Here were faces that I’d never seen in person but who I felt like I got to know through …

Read More
 

Getting to Know Your Audience, Prospects, and Clients – Part 1 – Old School

I attended a round table event of Chief Information Officers where a brave young man came to the audience microphone and asked the panel, how do you like to work with vendors.  The audience and the panel chuckled at the question – though the many vendors in the audience (myself included) leaned forward, eager to hear the reply.

“The internet works both ways,” said one of the panelist.  “Do your homework.”

With the free flow of information on the Internet, there are more and more ways to …

Read More
 

Mixed Signals from Your Audience

This is our dog Dude.  He’s a six-month-old Humane Society rescue – part yellow lab, part golden retriever, and maybe a little something else that accounts for the freckles on his nose.  One thing Dude and I have in common is we’re both light sleepers.  He can be snoozing on the other side of the room, but when he hears me stand up, he opens his eyes and lifts his head.

A few weeks ago, I was practicing a speech in my office.  I was standing …

Read More
 

Get a Second Opinion

Call me stubborn… though I prefer the term independent… but I like to do things for myself.  I don’t want to depend on anyone else for anything.  I hate to ask for help which of course is ridiculous!  Even the Beatles know we all need a little help from our friends.  I’m still learning that lesson.

I took Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshoppe – a class that takes people with varying levels of comedic talent and teaches them how to write and deliver stand up comedy.  …

Read More
 

Presentation Skills Are Overrated

CAUTION:  Kelly Vandever Tweets at Conferences!

If you follow me on Twitter @KellyVandever, you may notice that on some days, I tweet a lot.  Invariably the reason is, I’m at a conference or professional association meeting.  As it happens, Twitter has become my note taking method of choice.  As I listen to the presenter and hear things that catch my attention, I tweet out a message to capture the idea, attach the conference hashtag (or make one up if they don’t have one) and …

Read More
 

Meet Them Where They Are

I attended a recent ASTD Atlanta chapter meeting where representatives from the Turner organization talked about how they rolled out a comprehensive Talent Management System.  (For those unfamiliar with HR jargon, that’s how corporate America now refers to everything human resource related in an organization – performance reviews, compensation, succession planning, training, etc.)   Turner underwent a massive overhaul of their systems.  It was very impressive to hear how they managed the process.  In the lessons learned review, one of the key factors that they felt …

Read More
 

Improve Your Presentation – Be Sincere

If you haven’t seen the movie Up in the Air with George Clooney, there is one part of the film that they didn’t mention in the blurb describing the movie on Netflix.  In addition to firing people for a living, George Clooney’s character is also a “motivational speaker,” though his audiences didn’t seem highly motivated when the camera flashed to show them.  One reason he might not have been a good motivational speaker is that he didn’t believe in his message.
3 Things the Most Effective Speaker …

Read More
 

Improve Your Presentation by Giving Specific, Personal Examples

I spent this past weekend with my friends at the National Speakers Association’s winter workshop.   On Saturday night over dinner another colleague and I were talking to our friend Wendy Kinney (http://wendykinney.com).   For those of you who don’t know Wendy, she is a very wise woman.  Wendy was trying to explain a concept to us and it was clear that neither I nor the colleague were understanding Wendy’s point so we asked for an example.  Wendy gave us a generic example, and …

Read More