too-technical-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

A survey on public speaking was conducted by Brownlee & Associates that involved over 3,000 respondents with positions from President, Managing Director, Senior Directors, Employees in Sales, Marketing, R&D, Quality Control, I.T, Doctors, Scientists, and Lawyers. 

The objective was to identify the main causes as to why audience members disconnect and stop paying attention during presentations. 

During a series of weekly blogs, I will highlight a few of the specific areas of disconnect surveyed and offer practical coaching suggestions to help you keep your audience connected. Many of the suggestions provided will come from my book Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations.

The results have been divided into two sections; The design of the presentation and the delivery of the presentation. 

The higher the percentage the more the survey participants felt they would disconnect. Percentages ranged from 72%-99%.

The results of this survey make it clear that when the audience is bothered by areas in the design of the presentation that were done or not done or certain delivery behaviors of the presenter exhibited during the presentation were not executed well, the result will be a disconnection between the audience and the presenter and their presentation which will affect the quality of the communication, the degree of impact and memorability of the activity as well as the achievement of the objectives of the presenter.

 

Topic covered in the previous post: How to make sure your presentation isn’t long and stays on time.

 

DESIGN: Survey results indicated that 85% agreed that they would disconnect if… The presentation is complicated with too much detailed information.

My coaching suggestion: Know your audience by conducting an Audience Analysis Audit (AAA). In my book Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations we offer a simple audience analysis audit to guarantee your presentation language and delivery will be best suited to your audience.

For example, the following questions are asked in the Audience Analysis Audit (AAA): What is your audience’s level of understanding of the types of information you will be sharing? Technical, Generally Low, Nontechnical, Unknown, Generally high.

And another question: What is their knowledge of the subject? High, Moderate, Limited, None, Unknown. When possible, you will need to research information about your audience ahead of time to determine the answers to these questions in order to craft your presentation in a way that is understandable to your audience.

 

DESIGN: Survey results indicated 76% agreed they would disconnect if…The language used is technical or the presentation is too technical.

My coaching suggestion: Review your research on your Audience Analysis Audit (AAA) mentioned above and make sure the design of your presentation matches the knowledge and understanding of your audience.

 

For more information on this and other topics on effective public speaking, please contact me at: wendy@smartalkers.com or through my website: www.smartalkers.com

Connect with or follow me via LinkedIn or my Facebook page.

 

fear-speaking-father-son-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

 

A father was talking with his young son. The son asked his father, “What are your dreams for me?” His father’s response, “There’s an old proverb that when children are born, they’re born with their fists closed because that’s where they keep all their gifts. As you grow your hands start to unfold because you’re learning to release all your gifts to the world. And so, for the rest of your life, I want to see you live your life with your hands unfolded.”

What gifts are you still holding in your hands? If a fear of speaking in public is holding you back from sharing your gifts, I can help you unfold your hands and fearlessly share your gifts with the world.

 

Please contact me at: wendy@smartalkers.com or through my website: www.smartalkers.com.

 

 

prosperity-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

This story was posted on a social media site. It captured my attention. I hope it captures yours as well.  

A participant from Thailand said she had a gift for me.  It was a very tiny box…about half the size of my smartphone.  Inside were three beautifully-painted figurines.  “Can you tell me about these?” I asked.  She said, “They represent health, wealth, and prosperity…but none of them has anything to do with money.  Health means a good spirit and a long life…wealth means an abundance of friends and experiences…prosperity means the chance to share your heart and knowledge with others.

If you’re holding back from sharing your heart and knowledge with others because of fear or just feeling uncomfortable with public speaking, I can help. Let’s talk. 

Learn more: https://smartalkers.com or email me at wendy@smartalkers.com.

 

 

perfection-key-to-failure-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

“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.

increase-success-presenting-executives-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

One of the most common concerns of my coaching clients involves how to effectively present to senior executives. Here are a few tips to help you the next time you have the opportunity.

 

  1. Summarize upfront: Say you’re given 30 minutes to present. When creating your opening statement, pretend your whole time slot got cut to 5 minutes. Lead with all the information your audience really cares about such as: high-level findings, conclusions, recommendations, call to action. State those points clearly and succinctly in your opening statement, then move on to supporting data, and material that’s peripherally relevant. 
  2. Set expectations:  Let the audience know you’ll be spending your first few minutes presenting your summary and the rest of the time on discussion.
  3. Create summary slides: When making your slide deck, place a short overview of key points at the front; the rest of your slides should serve as an appendix. Follow the 10% rule: If your appendix is 20 slides, create 2 summary slides. After you present the summary, let the group drive the conversation, and refer to appendix slides as relevant questions and comments come up. 
  4. Give them what they asked for: This time-pressed group of senior executives invited you to speak because they felt you could supply missing or valuable information on the topic. Answer that specific request directly and quickly.
  5. Rehearse: Run your talk and slides by a colleague who will serve as an honest coach. If possible, find someone who’s had success getting ideas adopted at the executive level.

 

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.

 

 

increased-responsibility-accountability-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

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!

 

 

 

awkward-memorization-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

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.

 

get-hook-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

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.

frequent-types-presentations-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

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.

important-soft-skills-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 
 
You might be surprised. Read on.

In the July 26, 2019 edition of the Tampa Bay Business Journal, one headline read,
Research: “Soft Skills’ Emerge As Most Critical Among Successful SMBS.

The article goes on to state that the Small & Medium Business Trends Report analyzed responses from 2,000+ small and medium-sized business owners and leaders. The second highest soft skill characteristic for running a successful business was People and Communication skills.

How would you rate you and/or your company in these skills?

People and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. Contact Wendy Warman at wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.