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Archive for ‘Business Presentations’

Information vs. Presentation Decks

 

by Bob Goodyear

Several years ago, I was asked to do a technical sales presentation for a Fortune 100 company that could lead to a very large software contract.  All of the technical decision makers for the company would be in the audience as well as the CIO.  This was a very important meeting for the sales team and I was being asked to come in as an expert to close the technical end of the sale.

As I prepared for the event, the lead sales executive …

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Quotable Quotes

by Claudia Brogan

Why do we take the time to include quotes in our presentations and speeches?

Though there are many ways to answer that question, I believe that we do so to get the clear attention of our audience, to provide encouragement and perspective, and to frame a useful lesson in a pithy way.

When making final preparations for a recent panel presentation, my co-presenter asked me to swiftly choose three great quotes that would epitomize my key points. The spontaneous idea was to create a handout of pithy …

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5 Ways to Increase Authenticity in Your Presentations

        by Natalie Gallagher

Most speakers, with enough practice, can overcome the common pitfalls of a bad presentation: using too many “ums” and “ahs,” using too many notes, not moving around the stage, figuring out what to do with your arms, etc. But even the most experienced speakers struggle with something that keeps their presenting from being truly great: authenticity.

Authenticity is what connects you to the audience; it’s what gets them to really pay attention and engage with your material. And it’s what …

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A Quick Fade

by Tom Nixon

Animation in PowerPoint or Keynote is a very slippery slope. It seems that the average user cannot resist the urge to fly in text or spin transitions from one slide to the next. Additionally, they must feel that once is certainly not enough — the stunning effect has to be repeated dozens, if not hundreds of times.

The average audience member doesn’t quite see it that way. The zooming and flying quickly becomes amateurish and nauseating for your viewers. I generally coach anyone but an experienced …

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Don’t Squish Their Heads

by Tom Nixon

I don’t know if this bothers anyone else — maybe it is just me and my graphic design touchiness. But it makes me crazy when I see distorted images — photos of people and objects (like a basketball) that have been stretched or crushed to make them fit a space. It can be seen all the time in slide decks designed by folks who should know better.

The human eye and brain are very aware of even the slightest of these amateur short cuts and that is …

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The 10 Most Popular Speaking Practically Blog Posts of 2015

by Kelly Vandever

As the year draws to a close, it’s time once again to recap the top 10 most visited blog posts of the year.

As you reflect over the last year and begin planning for 2016, we hope you’ll find these topics and thoughts helpful.

Thanks for a great 2015!

Kelly

 
 #1 – What If I Don’t Like the Default Size 16:9 in PowerPoint 2013?

Currently, when opening a new slide …

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Key Targets (and being willing to let go of “The Precious”)

by Claudia Brogan

Not long ago, I helped a talented scientist prepare to deliver an important presentation. He had compiled numerous pages of data, research, and facts about the selected topic. The biggest problem was that the overload of information was dense and cloudy. After I read the prepared pages, I met with him to discuss preparations and ways to design a presentation that would be useful for the listeners.

As we discussed demographics about the audience that he would be meeting with, I broached the question of how …

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Anchor Your Presentation

by Bob Goodyear

Have you ever sat in on a presentation or speech and couldn’t remember the points the speaker was making just 10 minutes after it was done? Maybe you remember that you felt good about what was being said but you just couldn’t talk about specifics to anyone afterwards. That is incredibly frustrating to me as an audience member. It’s even MORE frustrating, however, to me as the speaker because that tells me that I didn’t do a good job making my points memorable.

How can we …

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“Word-A-Pa-Looza”

by Claudia Brogan

Making the effort to continually improve and stretch your vocabulary is likely to pay off in spades.

When a speaker uses strong, descriptive words — and uses them correctly! — credibility is strengthened and audience members sit up and take notice.

 

Here are two specific reasons for using strong, descriptive words:

First, studies show that it is good for our own brains to increase brain capacity by stretching to learn new things. No need to do rote memorization of 20 random words, over and over. But more realistically and effectively, it works …

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The Gulps and the Good of Seeking Feedback

by Claudia Brogan

It is highly tempting to live inside a little bubble about how we’re doing when delivering our presentations. It is just so appealing to use a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to how things are going, so we just leave well enough alone.

I happen to believe that we can each keep getting better each time we speak: as we polish our skills and practice our delivery, we can strengthen and fine-tune our abilities as a speaker. Tempting as it may be to stay in our comfort zone, …

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