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Archive for ‘Presentation Coaching’

by Mark Kretschmar

All fundamental presentation training has you start with an Introduction (tell them what you’re going to tell them), a Body (tell them), and a Conclusion (tell them what you told them). This rule is not as damaging as some previous rules we’ve already toppled – it’s just a little simplistic. You likely learned this rule in your high school or college Freshman speech class. The rule is founded in the flawed Typical Presentation Paradigm – a presentation is a transfer of information. If your presentation is constructed simply as a transfer of …

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Let’s Get Physical: Speaker Tips for Great Presentations

 

 

 

by Claudia W. Brogan

With practice and open, curious minds, our public speaking skills can get better and better. Not only will it help us “up our game” when we practice carefully and polish our own presentation, but it’s helpful too for us to pay close attention to other speakers’ styles and best practices. We can learn continually by watching other speakers. And not only can we learn from watching extraordinary speakers who speak with grace and clarity—we can also learn from watching presenters who have room for improvement.

Truly, I think we …

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How to Improve Gestures While Presenting

By Natalie Gallagher

One of the best scenes from an otherwise mediocre movie was when Will Farrell’s character in “Talladega Nights” couldn’t figure out what to do with his hands while he was speaking in front of a large crowd. While he spoke, his arms slowly kept rising next to him, as if possessed by their own will. The humor stems from the commonality of this issue. All presenters have wondered at one time or another, “What on earth do I do with my hands?” The uncertainty often leads to awkward, distracting, or …

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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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