Competition Sets the Bar Low0LOW! Very Low!

Amazing as it seems, it doesn’t take much to stand head and shoulders above your competition. This applies to most things in life.

It certainly rings true when it comes to Delivering a Great Presentation.

little things can make a HUGE DIFFERENCE.

  • Write your own Introduction.
    • The Introduction is an integral part of a presentation.
    • It is the speaker’s responsibility, not the emcee or meeting planner’s duty, to write it.
    • It is not a bio. Most bios pulled from the internet have little to do with the upcoming presentation. No one cares how many children and what hobbies the speaker has.
    • The Introduction should answer three questions:
      • WHY this subject?
      • WHY this speaker?
      • WHY now?
  • Take Personal Responsibility for as many aspects of the talk as possible.
    Arrive at the venue early, very early to check and test everything, and if necessary, get the items that aren’t correct –  fixed. Having “everything in place and working” can lessen the fear of public speaking. Read More→

Carryon-Laptop0LOT More than a Thumb-Drive!

Let me tell you a story:
I gave a presentation last week to a ladies networking group. The talk was about developing great Elevator and EXPRESS Elevator Speeches.

The venue was a classroom in a college. There was a projector mounted to the ceiling and a computer on a lectern connected to it. I’m a mac guy, so know there can always be challenges.

  • Disconnecting the VGA cable from the back of the classroom monitor required needle-nose pliers. Check! I had a pair.
  • Connecting to my macbook pro necessitated an adapter. Check! I had one.
  • Unfortunately, the projector did not recognize my computer, and the presentation screen, no matter what I tried, would not show my slides.
  • Fortunately, Lisa, my networking group contact, brought her projector.
    • I disconnected the VGA cable from the classroom monitor and connected it to Lisa’s projector – Nothing!
    • Lisa suggested trying an HDMI cable and plugged one she brought into the projector.
      • To connect that to my computer, I needed another type of adapter. Check! I had one.
      • Problems Solved!

Presentation Challenges can be Overcome if the
Speaker Plans for the What Ifs!

  • What If the emcee forgets to bring my Introduction.
    • Always bring a copy to the presentation. The person you originally sent it to may have lost or forgotten to bring it. Sometimes, the job has been assigned, at the last minute, or otherwise, to someone who never received your Introduction. Check! I do this.
  • What If my computer crashes? Read More→

Teleprompter or Not?

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oIt Depends. . .

President Obama is a master at using the teleprompter. I don’t believe anyone does it better. He doesn’t just “read” the words on the screen to his audiences. His inflections, varying cadence, gestures, body language, and facial expressions take his rhetorical skills to levels most never attain. He makes it look easy.
It isn’t!

Using a teleprompter, in my limited experience, is tough. Admittedly, the one I used was homemade and nowhere near the quality of professional equipment. The components were my iPad and an app. The scrolling speed was controlled via my iPhone and it was awkward to do. One of my coaching clients showed me a teleprompter app where the scrolling speed was voice controlled. That would be a big improvement! High-end teleprompters probably have that feature, and more bells and whistles.

Some Teleprompter Benefits.

  • Having a script to read lessens the possibility parts of the speech will be left out.
    • Looking at notes, on cards or paper, can be frustrating and fearful for some.
      • Recalling the words the “Note” is supposed to trigger can be stressful.
        • “What did I mean when I wrote that?”
  • It is easier to ‘keep your place’ when those words are highlighted.
  • Having all the words of a speech on a teleprompter can lessen the Fear of Public Speaking many people share.
  • If the speaker disciplines themselves to deliver only what the teleprompter shows, they are less likely to go “off script.”
    • Going off script can sometimes play havoc with the message and time constraints.
  • Rather than holding note cards or paper, the teleprompter allows the speaker to ‘look out’ towards the audience.
    • This can be huge! Have you ever watched someone looking down and reading their speech? Terrible!

Read More→


Fear of Public SpeakingoEqual Opportunity Fear!

It doesn’t care about your age, education, or occupation.

Young or not, highly educated or not, white collar or not – The Fear of Public Speaking affects up to 75% of the population.

There is even a word for it – Glossophobia. It comes from the Greek language: Glosso – tongue, Phobia – Fear. The important thing to note is it’s a word, not a disease, and it can be lessened.

It is a fear worth confronting! Losing it completely is not as desirable as taking that fear and putting that energy into your presentation. A presentation without energy is b-o-r-i-n-g! Have you ever been in an audience where a boring presentation is delivered? Yech!

I have coached doctors, lawyers, athletes, entrepreneurs, young people, older folks, and many others. It holds many back from reaching their potential. Tackling this fear is a worthy goal. Here’s why: The research shows:

Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities!”

People who speak, and speak well, are seen as leaders and experts. They are presented with opportunities others would love to have.

WHY do we have the Fear of Public Speaking?

My short answer is, “Why not!”
Think about it. Most of our conversations are one-on-one. Many of them are done on the phone, where people don’t see each other.
More and more, communication is via email or text where those interacting don’t see or hear each other.
It stands to reason when someone stands in front of many sets of eyeballs to speak, they are uncomfortable because they are out of their comfort zone.

The Fear of Public Speaking goes hand-in-glove with the Fear of Failure.

That’s too bad because Failing is a Good Thing! 
Think about this: If you get it right the first time, you probably don’t give it a second thought.

One Formula for Success is: Fail Early – Fail Often – Sometimes, Fail Big!The Fear of Public Speaking

Failing in many activities is private, only you know. Examples are crossword puzzles, tracking your own fitness program, and working on software tutorials.
The Fear of Public Speaking differs in one major way from many Fears of Failing because it is –

There are definite reasons to have a Fear of Public Speaking.

Read More→


Coaching0All Those Great Athletes Have COACHES!

They are the Best of the Best because they had great COACHING.
Many were born with a lot of natural talent. They continually work out and hone their skills. Most have been doing this for years.

More than one left home and moved hundreds, even thousands of miles, to work with the right Trainer. No athlete who will compete at the Olympics reached this goal by themselves. What they achieved was done as a team –  with their Coach!

One definition of Coach is: A tutor who gives private or specialized teaching.

Public Speaking and Presentation Coaches
fill this role for those serious about improving those skills. They know:

Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities!”

The Coach helps those individuals set and reach their goals. They take their “client” to levels not attainable on their own. Everyone has “blind spots.” The coach sees qualities, good and bad, a person often doesn’t. Professional Coaching will better the positive ones and decrease the negatives – maximizing results.

A Great Presentation Coach will Instruct, Critique, and Motivate! Read More→


WHY Speak? Because:

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0“Speaking Opportunites are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities!”

Have you ever been expected to, or wanted to:

  • Make a Speech.
  • Deliver a Presentation.
  • Present an Award.
  • Accept a Prize.
  • Introduce a Speaker.
  • Toast a Bride and Groom.
  • Hold a Press Conference.
  • Conduct an Interview.
  • Be a Master of Ceremonies.
  • Deliver a Eulogy.
  • Facilitate a Meeting.
  • Attend a Networking Event.
  • Give an Elevator Speech.
  • Tell a group about a trip you recently took.
  • Give a “How To” on a topic.
  • Make a Sales Presentation.
  • Be Interviewed.
  • Ask a Question at a Public Forum.
  • And More!

Speaking, in any of the above situations, can be Powerful! It can do amazing things for your career, business, and self-esteem. Individuals who present well are perceived as Experts. We like to work with Experts. Read More→


oTo Know!

When people come to see and hear a speaker, they are investing:

  • Time
  • Money – Their own, or someone else’s.
  • Opportunity Cost –  They could be doing something else with their time rather than attending the event.

It is imperative the audience knows WHY:
This speaker was chosen to make a presentation on this topic.

The Speaker’s Bio, if there is one in a promotional piece or announcement, usually does a poor job informing the audience why the speaker was chosen.

Unfortunately, bios usually include information about the presenter’s family, education (some relevant to their expertise, some not), hobbies, and other information irrelevant to their talk. No one cares how many kids you have, the fact you collect rocks, and like to backpack in state parks.

Write your own Introduction for the emcee of the event to deliver.
Or, if you must introduce yourself:
Have a prepared Credibility Statement for yourself to present.

Let’s look at the Format for the Introduction. It should answer Three Questions: Read More→


Own Your Audience!oPassion + Knowledge + Technique

When delivering a presentation,
Passion trumps everything!

Your body language and facial expressions will show the audience how much you care about your topic. Those non-verbal communicators will, when passion runs high, be involuntary. You won’t be able to help yourself!

For many, it is natural to be animated when passionate. (You’ve heard the expression, “They talk with their hands,” in reference to some individuals, haven’t you!)

Your verbal communication: the cadence, loudness of your voice, natural inflections, and pauses will coincide with gestures, body movement, and facial expressions.

You’ve observed that behavior in people who are extremely excited about their charity, political party, products they are selling or something else. They get very expressive, verbally and non-verbally, when conveying that enthusiasm to others. If you were to view a video of their speech, without sound, you’d still know their passion by ‘seeing’ it.

Bottom Line: The higher the passion, the more exuberant the delivery. Read More→



OLeaning In!

That non-verbal communication means they are watching and listening to your presentation! That’s what you want!

The Goal of All Communication:
Verbal, Written, or Visual is the same. We want the recipients, as quickly as possible, to GET IT! They may not agree with everything you present. They may not agree with anything. Unless they GET IT! there cannot be a productive conversation going forward.

Always take the temperature of the audience. 

You may be the only person in the room speaking, but those you are presenting to are communicating with you, also. It’s imperative to read their body language and facial expressions to ensure they are GETTING IT!

  • Noticing someone has a confused look on their face or is scratching their chin indicates they most likely didn’t understand what you just said. Repeat it in a different manner and see if their expression changes.
  • If someone’s arms are crossed, they probably disagree with you. That’s OK, but check that position later to see if it’s changed.
  • Someone looking directly at you but with seeming unfocused on your message can mean they are bored.
  • If the audience member is fiddling with something, they have lost, at least for the moment, interest in your talk.
    • The same is true for someone tilting their head from one side to another.
  • Drooling and snoring are not positive signals either!

Read More→


Fear of Public Speaking

0“I’ve Got Nothing to Talk About!”

“The audience probably knows way more than I do about the topic. If they don’t fall asleep during my presentation, they’ll be fidgeting, checking email, and looking at the clock, hoping I’ll soon conclude.”

That is a major fear many have when it comes to public speaking. They are concerned they’ll embarrass themselves. That anxiety goes hand-in-glove with the Fear of Failure.

Everyone has knowledge and experiences many would love to hear and would benefit from!

Great Tip!
I got this from Mark Brown, the 1995 Toastmaster Champion of Public Speaking.

Take out your cell phone and open up the Camera Roll and Photo Apps.

Start scrolling! I’ll bet you could tell a story about many of those great pictures, right! Of course! You were somewhere with someone doing something and there is a story to tell.
Remember: It’s all about the Story! You have many! Read More→

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