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Archive for ‘Presentation Coaching’

The Value of Good Slides (or how I justify my obsession with PowerPoint)

By Tom Nixon

I often get a prolonged silence when at various social events I recite my response to “What do you do?”

My reply: “I create visuals for presenters, a.k.a. PowerPoint.” is enough to stop a conversation right there. If I am at a party, that usually signals the time for more liquor or perhaps a trip to the rest room.

I have long given up the need to defend my craft or to explain that what I do is not the usual image of corporate PowerPoint but rather a way of coupling an …

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What if There Were No Slides?


By Mark Kretschmar

Spend any time in corporate America and the rule is obvious: When giving a presentation, thou shalt use PowerPoint (or some sort of slideware). Some companies are so locked into PowerPoint, and even a particular style of slide design (usually ineffective), that when someone changes the slides to be more effective, they get blowback. “Where are the bullets!!” “Where’s the logo and tag …

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Bringing Your “Be Game” as a Speaker

 

 

by Bob Goodyear

As speakers we often hear that we need to bring our “A Game” whenever we speak. This infers that we should always be the best whenever we speak. I want to suggest, however, that perhaps we should concern ourselves more with our “B game” instead, but not in the way you might think. Let’s change the B to “Be”. Let’s talk about some characteristics that we should be in order to be a more successful speaker.
Be Yourself
This is a well-worn cliché but it’s still applicable to us as speakers. I …

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How to Plan a Group Presentation that Doesn’t Suck

By Natalie Gallagher

Several years ago I was teaching an art history class that had a group presentation component: each group had to present on a 20th century art movement. Back then I was relatively new to teaching and didn’t realize that group work – and the corresponding presentation – was one of the most dreaded types of assignments a student could encounter. As I described the assignment I could see the look of horror and dread cross even the most optimistic students’ faces. Despite years of indoctrination about how marvelous teamwork …

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The Intangibles of Presentation Prep


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By Pam Leinmiller

Preparing for a presentation? The first things we usually think about all have to do with deliverables around the presentation itself such as: What are the most important points? What slides do I need to support these points? Handouts? How do I start? How should I end?

There is more to providing your audience with a great experience than the mechanics of the presentation itself. While at a recent National Speaker Association meeting, I had a conversation with another professional speaker who had a lifetime of experience about …

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The Presentation Skill No One is Talking About

By Mark Kretschmar

There’s a lot of great content out there on presentation skills. For the most part, it focuses on two things: 1) Slide content and design or 2) Speaking skills like preparation, attitude, what to do with your hands and feet, etc. What I rarely hear talked about is the intersection of slides and speaking – engaging the slides while you present. This matters, and someone needs to talk about it.
What the Presenter Does
The presenter is speaking away and at certain moments they click the remote and the slide changes, …

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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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Does Presentation Anarchy Rule?

By Mark Kretschmar

As a presenter, you can and should be in complete command of the audience. Using current rules, anarchy reigns, and it’s costly.

Well-intentioned rules are hurting your presentation skills. This problem is compounded when we look at several rules at the same time and see the dysfunctional presentation culture they create.
 A Deadly Affliction
We’ve all been in too many presentations where the presenter advances slide after slide of bullet points and reads them from the screen. We begin to contemplate sticking a pencil in our eye as an excuse to leave …

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3 Reasons Why You Should Practice Pausing While Presenting

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 I …

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The Presentation Before the Presentation: 5 Tips to Set You Up for Success


Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash
By Pam Leinmiller

You have developed a killer presentation, practiced the delivery, and know your material. You have prepared for questions that might arise. You are ready to go! Or so you think…

Don’t let all this preparation go to waste! Consider these 5 tips to avoid undermining your presentation before you utter the first word:
How are you?
Yes, I mean how are YOU, really? You may be nervous, but have you stacked the physical deck in your favor? Did you …

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