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Before your presentation:

  1. Consider the background your audience will see. Make it professional looking and avoid distracting pictures and objects.
  2. Dress professionally.
  3. Eliminate as much as possible any chance of a distraction or noise to disrupt your presentation.
  4. Make sure your face and or your body if standing, is well lit. Have the lighting in front of you not behind you. Don’t sit or stand with your back to a window. 
  5. Place something behind your computer that no one else can see that will remind you that you have an audience. A friend of mine shared that his 10-year-old daughter placed a stuffed animal behind her laptop as an “audience” to engage with.
  6. If you sit, sit on the front half of your chair and keep your feet flat on the floor. This will also help with your breathing and keeps you anchored in front of the screen.

 

 

During your presentation:

  1. Connect with your audience before diving into your presentation.
  2. Make sure your delivery uses both your gestures and voice to keep your audience engaged. Using gestures that match your message (keep them in the camera view) and vocal expression and inflections will keep you connected with your audience.
  3. Remember to tell stories, give examples, ask questions, pause and ask for comments every few minutes to keep interest high.
  4. Stand up if possible. This allows you to breathe more deeply than when sitting and will keep you from slouching in front of your computer.

 

Take care and be well.

Wendy

 

Public speaking and business communication skills are the skills SmarTalkers can provide to you through our coaching and training opportunities. Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.

 

 

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“I know I’m the expert on my topic. I’ve worked hard on the design and practiced my delivery, but I always think before presenting, what if..?”

 

After hearing this from a new client of mine I asked her why she felt the “what if ” syndrome? Her reply was, “I don’t know. I just always feel this way.”

 

What about you? After you have designed and practiced your delivery of a presentation, do the “what if’s” begin to creep in?

 

The “what if” syndrome is a certain way to sabotage the success of your presentation, cause unnecessary anxiety, and cause you to second guess your presentation skills to make a successful presentation.

 

When preparing your next presentation, I invite you to ask yourself:

 

  • Do I have a clear objective for my presentation? In other words, have I answered the question, what do I want my audience to DO, not think, as a result of it?
  • Have I done an in-depth audience analysis audit to ensure my presentation is focused on my audience’s needs and wants and not what I think they want or need to know?
  • Have I added stories, examples, or analogies that support my main ideas which will keep my audience interested?
  • Do I have an attention-getting opening that does NOT  begin with “Thank you for having me speak to you,” and a closing that shows your audience you’ve come full circle?

 
These are just a few questions that need to be answered “yes” in order for you to eliminate the “what if’s” from your mind. 

 

In my book “Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations”, there’s a six-step process, when diligently followed ensures your success in designing and delivering an effective presentation that will get you the results you want and your audience will feel it’s been worth their time listening to you.

 

Loud and Clear’s practical step by step process has helped over a quarter of a million people present their message with confidence, clarity, and connection.

 

Check out the blog post on my website to see the six steps explained in detail.

 

And now the rest of my client’s story. After we worked through the Loud and Clear Six-Step process, my client delivered her next presentation without the “what if’s” but now she says, “It’s showtime!”

 

If you’d like more information about the Loud and Clear Six-Step Process and my coaching program, let’s connect! wendy@smartalkers.com.

 

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“Strive not to be a success, but rather of value.” -Albert Einstein

When designing your presentation and asking yourself “How can I make this a success?” the answer is simple. Bring value to your audience. Spend time with your audience analysis audit before finalizing your content. 

A few questions from the  Audience Analysis Audit found in my book Loud and Clear: How to Design and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations will help you get into the minds of your audience so, at the end of your presentation, your audience will feel it’s been worth their time listening to you.

 

Here are just a few:

  • Identify your audience’s expected benefits and positive outcomes. What will they want to have happen, learn, or change as a result of your presentation?
  • What are their opinions about you or the organization you represent?
  • How willing are the members of this audience to accept the ideas you will present?

 

Spending time thinking about what your audience wants to hear from you, what value will you bring to them through your presentation will ultimately bring the success you may have initially been striving for. Value first, then success.

Would you like to know more about the power of the audience analysis audit found in my book? Let’s talk.

Public speaking and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.

 

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“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi

This quote reminds me of the many times when coaching a client for a presentation they have said to me, “I want this presentation to be perfect!”. My response, “That’s a sure way to fail.” 

I was raised to be a perfect child, which spilled over into fueling my fear of speaking in public. I wanted perfection and when I didn’t achieve it, my fear continued to build to the point of severe anxiety when asked to speak, even for a brief moment like introducing myself.

Choosing to be prepared, authentic, and audience-centered will result in excellence, not perfection. Practice makes permanent, not perfect.

If you’d like to learn more about how to eliminate your need for perfection and move towards excellence when designing and delivering your next presentation, let’s talk. 

Public speaking and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. 

Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.comfor more information.

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In my morning thoughts and meditation, I came across this statement. It’s one I’ve heard before, however, today it prompted me to reflect on the responsibility and accountability we have when presenting our information to others. 

When designing a presentation we must keep our audience in mind. That is a speaker’s responsibility. It’s not all about what we want them to know about our topic, but also what they will want to know and hear about the topic. 

In addition, we are held accountable for not only what we say but how we say it. Our tongue is a very small muscle in our body but holds power that can encourage and build up or destroy and tear down. Our voice and body language have power over our words. They must match in order to be believable and accepting to our audience.

Presenting to others is a privilege and with that privilege comes responsibility and accountability. 

When developing your presentation, do you have a process that will ensure your message will address your audience’s needs and wants? Are you in control of having your message match your words and voice? 

If you’re unsure, the process found in my book Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations may be just what you need. It’s a simple process that delivers positive results! To find out more about the Loud and Clear Process and hear from the words of my clients the benefits they’ve received, check out my website: www.smartalkers.com or contact me at wendy@smartalkers.com. I’d welcome the opportunity to speak with you!

 

 

 

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This week I listened to a speaker that was the perfect example of data dumping. For 25 minutes, we looked at slides with words too small to read, and listened to the history of the product he was talking about – beginning before the birth of Jesus to the present day! Yes, that’s right. We looked at too many slides in small font with the speaker giving only minimal commentary. He could have easily given us a handout of his slides and walked out the door. Data dumping at it’s best and BORING! During his presentation, I looked around and saw audience members looking at their watches and wiggling in their seats. 

 

When I thought I could stand no more, he began to show photographs and other interesting visuals and added commentary that piqued my interest and the interest of his audience. However, it was too late. The moderator politely interrupted him to let him know he needed to wrap up. 

 

Are you guilty of data dumping? Overwhelming your audience with everything you know about your topic? Or do you have a process that will guide you in designing a presentation that will get you the results you want and your audience will feel it’s been worth their time listening to you?

If you’d like more information on how to design an effective and interesting message, let’s talk. The six-step process included in my best-selling book (over a quarter of a million sold) Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations may be just what you’re looking for.  Contact me to get your copy:  wendy@smartalkers.com

 

 

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One of my favorite business experts is Seth Godin (https://www.sethgodin.com/)

I subscribe to his daily blog posts and this one really hit the mark on the topic of memorization. It follows my philosophy that I share with my coaching clients when they tell me they want to memorize their presentation.

Here are his thoughts…

____________________

 

Awkward Memorization

The spread of TED talks means that more and more people are being put on stage and told to memorize their talk.

This almost always leads to failure.

It’s not because people memorize too much, it’s because they don’t memorize enough.

Watch a great performance and you’ll see no artifacts of memorization. Instead, you will see someone speaking from the heart.

This is what it means to know something by heart.

Memorizing the words is half of it.

And woefully insufficient.

My suggestion: Don’t memorize your talk. Memorize your stories. Ten stories make a talk. Write yourself a simple cue card to remember each story’s name. Then tell us ten stories.

Be you.

We didn’t come to hear your words. If that’s all we wanted, we could have read the memo and saved a ton of time.

Bring your heart.

__________________

And I would add…in the word rehearse is the word ‘rehear’. Practice and rehearse until it becomes apart of you…Yes, I agree, be you and bring your heart.

Public speaking and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.

 

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It’s just as important to know what your audience doesn’t want from a presenter as it is to know what they do want. Over the years of coaching and training in designing and delivering business and technical presentations, I have polled my clients and audiences as to what is a real turn off to them when listening to a speaker. Here are the top ten responses. 

 

Ten of the Most Common Ways to Turn Off Your Audience

  1. Lack of rapport with the audience
  2. Looking stiff and uncomfortable
  3. The presentation is too intellectual with no audience engagement
  4. The presenter appears to lack confidence
  5. Poor eye contact
  6. Distracting mannerisms
  7. Being unprepared
  8. Monotone voice
  9. Lack of enthusiasm
  10. Using boring material 

 

Four Faults Your Audience Will Never Forgive You For

  1. Not being prepared.
  2. Not making them feel comfortable.
  3. Not being committed to your topic.
  4. Not being interesting.

 

Are you guilty of any of these turn-offs? If so the Six-Step Loud and Clear process will give you the techniques needed to move your audiences from saying “Get the hook!” to “More, more, more!”

 

Here are a few of the benefits of using my Loud & Clear process from my book Loud and Clear: How To Design and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations, with over a quarter of a million sold to date.

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety.
  2. Reduces preparation time by 20-50 percent.
  3. Increases your audience’s interest, understanding, and engagement.
  4. Connect more directly with your audience’s needs and wants.
  5. Increases your confidence and clarity.

If you’d like more information about the Loud and Clear process, let’s talk: wendy@smartalkers.com.

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Knowing the type of presentation you’re going to give is the first step in designing your presentation. Let’s take a look at four of the most frequently made types of presentations.

1. Persuasive. Every presentation is, to a certain extent, persuasive. First and foremost, you must convince your audience that you know what you’re talking about. Beyond this, you might use a persuasive presentation to:

  • Gain an audience’s confidence in the organization you represent and the message you are presenting.
  • Pique the interest of a potential customer in a new product, service or program that you are offering.
  • Convince upper management of the need to commit additional personnel or money to purchase new technology.

 

2. Explanatory. An explanatory presentation provides a general familiarization giving “the big picture.” This type of presentation rarely involves a high level of detail. It might be used to:

  • Provide general information relevant to the needs of another department, company or agency.
  • Present information to a professional association, civic organization, or other groups in the interest of good public relations.

 

3. Instructional. This type of presentation teaches others how to use or do something, such as a new procedure or piece of equipment. This usually requires greater involvement of your audience to reinforce their learning and frequently provides detailed information. Typical uses for an instructional presentation are to:

  • Instruct customers in the use of a specific process or equipment.
  • Coach employees in the use of specific software.

 

4. Briefing. A briefing usually brings your audience up to date on something with which they are already familiar. Details may be provided on a selective basis, according to the needs and interests of your audience. A briefing may be designed to:

  • Update upper management on current expenditures compared to budget.
  • Clarify modifications to a particular product or service.

 

Overlapping of these presentation types may be necessary. For example, to convince upper management to invest in new technology, not only do you need to briefly explain the technology, but you will need to persuade them to make the purchase by providing the benefits of the new technology.

In summary, knowing what presentation type is necessary to achieve your objective is a key component to the design of your presentation. This will provide you with a guide as to how much information you will need to provide and how detailed the information needs to be.

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Do you have a fear of speaking and let the “what if” thoughts consume you? “What if I make a mistake and look like a fool? What if I’m asked a question and don’t know the answer? What if the technology doesn’t work?”

The following post came through Instagram and I don’t know who wrote it, but felt the thoughts were appropriate for those that have a fear of speaking. Take heed. We are what we think, especially relating to: “What if” thoughts?

“Are you worried? Do you have many “what if” thoughts? You are identified with your mind, which is projecting itself into an imaginary future situation and creating fear. There is no way that you can cope with such a situation because it doesn’t exist. It’s a mental phantom. You can stop this health and life-corroding insanity simply by acknowledging the present moment.”

I might add, related to speaking, there is a way you can cope. Learning how to design and deliver a presentation and find out how to dispel all the “what if’s” will give you the confidence to overcome your fear. I know this for a fact because this is how I overcame my fear of speaking in public. You can too!

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