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Archive for ‘Business Presentations’

Finding That Topic in the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Your Venn Diagram

By Claudia Brogan

One of my very favorite bloggers in the arena of communication is Andrew Dlugan (“Six Minutes”). Heaven only knows where he comes up with the excellent topics and resources that he shares for teachers, speakers and trainers. Oh wait…it’s not just Heaven that knows. Actually, Andrew generously divulges a great tool for coming up with good speaking subjects.

He calls this the “Secret of choosing successful speech topics” and I highly recommend to you his thorough, thought-provoking blog piece linked below.

Consider finding that “sweet spot” right in the …

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Get Out Of The Rut

By Bob Goodyear

Years ago, I went camping with my Boy Scout troop one spring. Our campsite was guaranteed to be incredibly fun! It was off the beaten path and only accessible by a single dirt road that few people knew about. We reached the dirt road full of the anticipation that only a group of 12-13 year old boys could generate. We piled in the back of our scoutmaster’s truck and headed down the road. It was easy to follow because of the ruts that had …

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Becoming a Great Impromptu Speaker

By Natalie Gallagher

 

The first time I was called on to give an impromptu speech in front of my colleagues, I was so nervous and unprepared that I rambled incoherently for 30 seconds, then spoke as fast as I could through my key points. Later someone told me I should’ve been an auctioneer instead of a professor. Does this sound familiar to you?

 

There’s much we can do to be great at delivering prepared presentations, but more often than not, we will be called on to deliver speeches on the spot. Every …

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Check, Please

by Bob Goodyear

Imagine that a friend stops by and asks you to come along to help with some kind of an errand.  The first questions you may ask is where are you going and what are you going to be doing.  Wouldn’t you want to know that?

When we present, we need to tell our audience the same things.  We need to tell them where they are going and what they will be doing or hearing.  We need to give them a road map of our presentation up front.

A road map helps …

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Getting (Creatively) Unstuck

by Claudia Brogan

“If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.”

<Attributed variously to Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Mark Twain, Tony Robbins.
regardless of the origin, what matters is the point this great quote makes.>

One challenge for professional speakers who have varied topics and presentations is the creative act of coming up with new speech topics –or new approaches to topics—that they can use in training for their staffs and audiences. As a matter of fact, getting ourselves into “jams” for new ideas and new approaches can …

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Using a graph? What’s your point?

by Tom Nixon

Presenting data to an audience is a challenge. If we just dump a pile of numbers on the screen we can expect those “eyes glazed over” looks that PowerPoint is so famous for. To make numbers meaningful we often turn to a graph or chart to show numbers as visual relationships.

Unfortunately, PowerPoint is all too ready to help us make those many layered, three-dimensional, color coordinated graphs that are just as confusing as the raw data. As the “tour guides” of our presentation we need …

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3 Reasons to Perfect Your Pause

by Natalie Gallagher

When we are scared, anxious, or excessively nervous, our body kicks into fight-or-flight mode, a natural survival instinct.

Because public speaking can be a terrifying experience for many, the brain can trigger the “flight” response, and cause us to speak as quickly as possible in order to get off the stage as soon as possible. For me, speaking incredibly fast was one of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome to improve my speaking. On stage, my nerves combined with excitement over my topic made it sound like …

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The Wonders of Reduction: Creating a Pithy Speech Just Like a Cook Concentrates the Sauce

by Claudia Brogan

One of the perpetual quests of good speakers is to create and deliver a pithy speech that “packs a lot of punch” without taking extra time. A speech that makes its points clearly and engagingly without becoming redundant.

Ironically, the best speeches can sometimes be the shortest ones. Trimmed and culled. Just like the cooking practice that is called “boiling something down to its essence,” an effective speech takes its ingredients and cooks them together until they are concentrated, well-combined and full of zest. When a cook …

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The 5 C’s of Storytelling: A Follow-up

by Bob Goodyear

I just came back from a sales conference where I had the opportunity to train technical sales teams on various soft skills.  One of the techniques that was taught was the 5 C’s of storytelling, that I’ve written about previously.  After the sessions were over, I had several attendees talk to me.  The most common question I heard was “When do I tell a story in a technical presentation?”

The “traditional” technical sales presentation is considered to be a “data dump” and the expectations are generally very low …

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Give Your Graph A Point of View

by Tom Nixon

Every part of your presentation should move your audience toward the goal that you set for the entire presentation. Simply dumping a data set into a graph in PowerPoint only gives your audience part of the story — just the raw information.

You are the expert. Ideally they want to know what you think, what you have discovered about the subject, and how you see things. Give your charts and graphs a point of view by emphasizing the specific data that is critical to …

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