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Archive for ‘Audience Interaction’

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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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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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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Use With Care: Audience Quick-Engagement Activities That Can Go Wrong

By Claudia W. Brogan

“Raise your hand if…” or “Turn to your neighbor and tell them….” These are the kind of words that can strike fear in the hearts of some audience members, while speakers may think they’re the most normal, invitational words in the world.

Cautionary tales show up as groans come from audience members when a speaker says these words. Activities or brief involvement questions can be very potent tools when used well; activities done without careful thought or intention can deflate the balloon of a good presentation in no time.

Just like any …

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It’s Complicated: Getting from Intellect to Impact!

By Pam Leinmiller

The challenge is the same for each of us. We do our research. We document our source material. We have the facts surrounding the points we want to make in our presentation. The problem is that this is all very complicated. Our research is complicated, our source material is complicated, and the facts are complicated. The challenge is how can we make the intellectual material into a presentation impact the audience?

This is exactly the situation I was presented with while coaching a TEDx speaker last year. He is brilliant and …

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Does Eye Contact Really Work?

 

By Mark Kretschmar

There’s a problem with the way most presenters do eye contact. But first, let’s look at what’s going right.

We’ve all endured enough presentations void of eye contact. (You know you have an engineer’s attention “when they are looking at your shoes instead of at their own.”) Well, I’m glad to say that’s an exaggeration.

Getting speakers to look at the audience members’ faces is a huge step in the right direction. Eye contact is good. Always. But it can be great. A major reason eye contact is emphasized in public …

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3 Types of Feedback for Speakers

By Bob Goodyear

Feedback is an interesting word and for a speaker it can be good or bad. If we’re using a sound system, feedback is bad. Audience feedback however can be good, but it depends on what we do with it. Let’s talk about the 3 different kinds of audience feedback that affect us as speakers. Two of the types we know but the third is maybe the most important.
Positive Feedback
When we finish a speech, many times we meet with members of the audience and hear what a great job we …

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Let ’em Laugh

by Bob Goodyear

When making a presentation, have you ever said something that made the audience laugh? Was it planned? Did it catch you off guard? What did you do? Did you continue speaking as though nothing different had happened? Sometimes handling a laugh is very difficult for a speaker. Let’s talk about this for a moment.

Recently I had the opportunity to listen to a few speeches given in a college business presentation class. The presenters were asked to talk about a personal experience. All of the speeches were good and each …

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Don’t Present On a Topic

By Mark Kretschmar

You learned it in college; you may have learned it in high school: Select a topic of interest to the audience for your presentation. This rule isn’t so much “wrong” as it is distracting. Of course you should be speaking of something which interests the audience. Where this rule gets in the way, like most rules, is the implications and ramifications of its assumptions.

When an “interesting topic” becomes the driving force behind your presentation, you feel you have everything you need and you forget the Presentation Prime Directive: Make your …

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Have a Planned Question for Your Silent Q&A

By Bob Goodyear

Have you ever asked, “Do you have any questions” during your presentation and received no response from the audience? How did that feel? How long did you wait before moving on?

As a technical presenter, it is expected to have a Q&A period during your presentation. However, having no one raise their hand to ask a question is one of the most uncomfortable feelings I’ve ever experienced in my years of presenting. I tried all kinds of methods to handle this. I would many times laugh it off with a …

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