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Archive for ‘Presentation Coaching’

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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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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Energize a Cold Audience

By Tom Nixon

Many times a speaker, through no fault of their own, steps to the front of the room and faces a cold audience. It could be the time of day, the meal before or after the session, the previous speaker, an organization-wide situation, or even the temperature, setup, and/or lighting of the room. It could be anything. The energy and the expectations are bottomed out. You may well have to struggle to get the power level up.

A presenter can use a number of techniques to open their time and energize …

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Video Rehearsal – The Key to Improving

 

By Bob Goodyear

In an earlier blog post about rehearsing before presenting, I wrote about the importance of doing a video rehearsal. I talked about how hard it is to actually watch it. As a technical presenter, I want to believe that I know my presentation so well that rehearsal is not needed. I swallowed my pride and recently recorded a video in preparation for an upcoming presentation.
What do you do with the video rehearsal once you’ve recorded it?
I suggest that you watch your video three different times. That might seem …

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To be an Expert or a Master

By Tom Nixon

Any chart or graph can be a dense forest of data unless you deliberately create it with the goal of making the complex understandable. This double axis chart is a build slide with each component revealed as the presenter introduces them so that the audience can understand how the chart works without the initial confusion caused by showing the entire chart at once.

The goal here is to show how presentation technique and the complexity of the content work together to affect how the audience responds to the speaker.

The vertical …

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Begin With a Bang

By Bob Goodyear

Coming up with a good presentation opening is difficult. Because of that, many times the presenter will just default to an opening that sounds something like this.

“Hello. My name is Joe Presenter. Thank you for inviting me here. I appreciate the time you are giving to me to speak. I hope what I have to say will be interesting to you. Today I’m going to tell you about the 93 great features of my product.”

How many times have you heard an introduction like that? How many times …

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