You've probably heard you should use stories in your presentations to engage the audience, capture their attention and stir their emotions. But unless you happen to be a natural storyteller, you might be wondering how to do this in a way that doesn't seem silly or frivolous. Use the following guidelines to be sure your stories add value and impact.
First things first: feeling a little nervous before a presentation is a natural bodily response. Most people feel cold in a snowstorm. You can do something about it, like put on an extra layer. When you are feeling nervous about presenting, you can do something about that too.
One of the most controversial skills we teach in our workshops is the use of the Neutral Bridge when responding to challenging questions. While it helps people think fast and stay focused when they get a tough question, sometimes they see it as an additional step at an already stressful time. Read on to see when you may not need a bridge.
When people speak without slides, their arms, hands, and gestures tell the story. For example: the one hand outlines the machine part, both hands come together to explain how the pieces fit together. It’s interesting and dynamic to watch. Put slides up and watch what happens…
In our work with technical or subject matter experts, we are asked over and over, how do I get rid of fillers? Ummm, ahhhh, so, well, and-um, you know….and other non-words can easily creep into our presentations, and nobody likes them. What can you do? This is what we tell our clients.
What do you do when you only have three hours to prepare for an important presentation? In this post, you will learn three helpful strategies to bring you focus and use your time effectively—so you can win the day.
You get a difficult question. Quick, before you answer, think. What is the question asking for? Facts or opinions? Is it a challenge or an objection? Does it contain assumptions? Are there strong emotions at play? When you know the type of question you are being asked, you’ll do a better job of answering it.
You get an email. It asks you to present on a project you’ve been working on. The presentation is in two days. How should you prepare? How can you best use your time? You can start with the following strategies. Let’s get to it.
Oh my, we have such busy minds. Someone once said, “The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” Does it ever feel that way to you? Put your mind to work in a more productive way by trying a few of these strategies.
How you prepare for your upcoming presentation will depend on time. Sometimes you’ll have hours, sometimes days or weeks. Today’s post starts with what to do if you have one week to prepare.
When you deliver a motivational message, you’ll want to create a fine balance between logic and emotion, and then deliver it with sincerity. Read and learn ten keys to success for giving a successful motivational talk.
If your presentations are number-heavy, or if you are presenting financial data, you might want to try some of these tips to bring them to life, to clarify and streamline your main points, and to make them more engaging and more memorable.
Every time I ask a group to list the qualities of a successful speaker, one of the first things they say is “engaging.” What do you think makes a speaker engaging? I think it could be a combination of four unique qualities, along with knowing how to engage and connect with an audience.
Audience management is crucial to getting important content across, while keeping things on track. Too many disruptions, questions or side conversations can derail your presentation, while coming across as impatient or rude won’t win very many points.
Whether it is a formal proposal, a team meeting, or a training event, most of the time when we speak we have more content than time. If you feel rushed or sometimes run out of time, read on for better time management.
Got nervousness? Here are fifteen ways to conquer your fears and feel more confident about your ability to present successfully. Try one or two of these and see what happens. You are sure to find a few things that help you transform anxiety to confidence, and fear to power.
Recently I read an article in Inc. magazine written by Carmine Gallo, the author of several books about presenting, including Talk Like Ted. Gallo provides compelling reasons why we should rethink the way our PowerPoint slides look and perform.
There were eight tables in the room. By the time the first table finished introducing themselves, I knew we were in trouble. By the end of their introductions, I only had 25 minutes instead of the hour I'd planned for. Deep breath. This is what happened next...and what should have happened.
My students were becoming so confident that I decided to experiment a little bit. At the beginning of the second day, I asked each of them write two things they would like to focus on for the next presentation. As each person came to the front to speak, they handed me their cards. Here is what happened.
Maybe you have heard you should use stories to bring your content to life, but aren’t sure why or how storytelling adds value. You might even wonder if using stories is worth the risk of looking silly, or worth the time it will take to learn to do it well. Here are ten compelling reasons why it is worthwhile to use stories and storytelling in your presentations.
While some people seem to gravitate toward the spotlight, others find it doesn’t come easily. If you sometimes doubt your ability to speak effectively in public, here are five questions that might help shape your thought process, and maybe even lead to a breakthrough. You can be an effective public speaker.
Similar to flying an airplane, the most critical parts of a presentation are the takeoff and landing. In presentations, the last minute is when you “land” your message. Will the audience remember what you said? Will they take action? Or will they be glad it is over and file out of the room in relief? Here is how to make the most of your endings.
It seems so many of the slides we see in presentations are dull, lifeless, and crammed full of data. They reflect badly on your presentation. Consider looking at your slides with fresh eyes, to be sure they deliver more clarity and appeal to the eye.
Setting context is one of the most important tasks you need to do if you want your listeners to understand and care about your presentation. It’s best to set the context right from the start, so people understand the tone of your message, the significance of the event, or the risk that is being mitigated.
Transitions from one section of your presentation to the next not only sound more polished, but make the presentation easier to follow. Many times, we overlook this small but mighty practice. Let’s look at some ways you can easily make those connections in your next presentation.
When we consider bringing supplementary materials into a meeting or class, it is helpful to consider the ability level of our audience, plus ways to get everyone on the same page, so to speak. Continue reading for six strategies.
Great eye contact includes everyone and invites them into your presentation. It engages. It shows confidence. So how much eye contact is enough, or too much? Read on to find out how to ace eye contact.
Rehearsing your presentation out loud using a timer is a must. If you have to rush to make your time limit, cut out a few minutes of content, giving you more leeway in case of questions or asides. Read on for more suggestions on managing time...
Recently I worked with a talented group of project managers who struggled with getting a reaction or a discussion started, especially with remote presentations. Together we brainstormed this great list of questions you could ask to start a discussion, or to keep one going.