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Archive for ‘Speech & Presentation Coaching’

What’s Your Excuse?

By Pam Leinmiller
I don’t need to turn up my volume…

I don’t need to slow my pace…

I don’t need to enunciate my words…

I don’t need to consider my accent…

I don’t need to add inflection when I talk…

I don’t need to make eye contact with my audience…

… BECAUSE I always use a microphone!!!
Have you ever been to a presentation with a presenter who fits one of these statements? I think each of us has been in the audience when we wished the speaker had not made one of the above assumptions. The big …

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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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3 Reasons for Technical Presenters to Tell a Story

By Bob Goodyear

I’ve had the opportunity to train numerous technical sales teams on different soft skills, including stories. One of the techniques that I teach is the 5 C’s of storytelling, which I’ve written about previously. This is a difficult subject for many technical people. In every class, I generally get these 3 questions.

When do I tell a story in a technical presentation?
Why should I tell a story in a technical presentation?
What kind of stories should I tell?

When to Tell a Story
The “traditional” technical sales presentation is …

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Use With Care: Audience Quick-Engagement Activities That Can Go Wrong

By Claudia W. Brogan

“Raise your hand if…” or “Turn to your neighbor and tell them….” These are the kind of words that can strike fear in the hearts of some audience members, while speakers may think they’re the most normal, invitational words in the world.

Cautionary tales show up as groans come from audience members when a speaker says these words. Activities or brief involvement questions can be very potent tools when used well; activities done without careful thought or intention can deflate the balloon of a good presentation in no time.

Just like any …

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It’s Complicated: Getting from Intellect to Impact!

By Pam Leinmiller

The challenge is the same for each of us. We do our research. We document our source material. We have the facts surrounding the points we want to make in our presentation. The problem is that this is all very complicated. Our research is complicated, our source material is complicated, and the facts are complicated. The challenge is how can we make the intellectual material into a presentation impact the audience?

This is exactly the situation I was presented with while coaching a TEDx speaker last year. He is brilliant and …

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Old Habits Die Hard

by Claudia W. Brogan

Several years ago, I joined a local Toastmasters club in order to improve and become more practiced in my speaking skills. In the first club that I visited, I noticed an odd method that they used: each time that a speaker would say “um” in a presentation, a member would ring a little silver bell. Apparently, the intention was to quickly get the speaker’s attention so that he or she would notice they said “um” and correct that action. This technique is apparently based on Pavlov’s experiments in classical …

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3 Words of Wisdom That Can Make All the Difference for Public Speakers

By Claudia W. Brogan

Do you ever find yourself recalling words of wisdom that have been passed along to you from your mentors and role models? Sometimes, lessons were conveyed to you by modeling the techniques and methods, while other times the “moral of the story” was conveyed as lessons your mentor had learned and passed along to you. In a true sense, each of these wise words adds to your toolkit and can bring inspiration and fresh ideas whenever you need reminders.

For me, I learned three wise words from one of …

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The Difference Between a Great Speaker and a Great Speaker Coach

by Natalie Gallagher

A friend of mine recently worked with a new speaker coach to get her ready for a big work presentation in front of a room of over 500 people. She was disappointed after the first session because she didn’t feel like she’d gotten what she needed. She noticed her coach struggled to translate his skills as a wonderful speaker into helping her with her presentation. “He didn’t seem to understand I was giving a corporate presentation, not a motivational speech.” She lamented. “And he’s such a great speaker, so I …

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The Presentation Equivalent to Eating Your Vegetables

By Pam Leinmiller

When you were a kid, you didn’t want to eat your vegetables, even though they were good for you. Now, as an adult, you don’t want to practice your presentation, even though you know it is critical to your success as a presenter. Can’t you just skip straight to dessert and just go present? That’s right, practice your presentation. Even knowing that practicing will allow you to see and hear what you can do to improve as a presenter, why don’t we do it? Not only that, why don’t …

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Create a Great Audience Connection

By Bob Goodyear

Creating a great audience connection is key to making a great presentation. It’s easy to say but sometimes it’s very hard to do. What does it take to create such a connection? Let me share 3 tips that I’ve learned over the years that have helped me.
Know Your Audience
This is such a key for making a great presentation and connecting with your audience. I’ve written previously about questions you should ask to get to know your audience before you show up to speak. While these questions will …

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