Executive Speaking Weblog

Communication – the future of business

Archive for the ‘Business Presentations’ Category

Posted by Presentation Skills on October 28, 2010

Many speakers will share a quote in a presentation to add power to their message. Here is how to use them for greatest impact.

  • Use them as supporting evidence. Deliver your point and explain it, then drop the quote in. It’s better to show that you have an idea that Obama supports with a quote, rather than having an idea of Obama’s that you have pinched and tried to expand. 
  • Know the quote verbatim. No reading it out, no putting it on the screen. If it is integral to your message, it stands to reason that you know it back-to-front. 
  • If you must put the quote on the screen, don’t use ‘Quotation Marks’. Quotation marks reduce the quote to a temporary message.  
  • Always attribute the quote to the correct source.  

As always your thoughts appreciated below.

Cheers

Darren Fleming – Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Advertisements

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, humour in presentations, Language of Leadership, nervousness, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Just Because You Can Does Not Mean You Should

Posted by Presentation Skills on June 1, 2010

Last weekend I attended a conference where the presenters would just not stop talking. Each person on the agenda felt they had a duty to congratulate the last and next speaker for the job they had done. Then there were other speakers who to 20 minutes to say what could have been said in 5.

What was the result of this? because there were so many speakers (5 in 20 minutes) the whole event lacked rhythm. We could not settle into the speakers and listen to the message they had. It was like trying to watch TV with the ads coming thick and fast. Those that did have extended times to speak lacked substance and the audience stopped listening.

What is the solution?

Make sure that every person who gets up to speak will add value to the event message and deliver value to the audience. If they don’t add value, do they really need to speak? Just because someone can speak, doesn’t mean that they should. As the great philosopher Groucho Marx put it, ‘Very few sinners are saved after the first 20 minutes of a sermon.’

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, humour in presentations, Martketing your speaking skills, nervousness, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Toastmasters, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Leave a Comment »

I’ve got eye contact – now what?

Posted by Presentation Skills on March 29, 2010

Just about every speaking book, blog or coach will tell you that eye contact is important when speaking. And while eye contact is important, that is not the whole game. What should you do once you have made eye contact?

The effect of making eye-contact is driven home by what you do once you have made it. There are several things you can do, depending what you want to achieve.

  1. Stare – This is when you hold the gaze for too long and the other person becomes uncomfortable. Generally not conducive to good communication.
  2. Stare down – This is when you show your position of power/authority over the person by holding them in your gaze. You let them go when you are finished ‘drilling’ them, or they break eye contact admitting their subordinate position.
  3. Break eye-contact. This happens when you feel that you should move on because you don’t want to be caught staring. There are 3 ways to break eye-contact. Break by looking down puts you into a submissive position and shows weakness/lack of confidence – almost like saying sorry for looking. Breaking by looking up has the similar feel of being ‘caught staring’, but is not submissive, but it is still not strong. It still gives the impression that you are moving on after being caught staring. Breaking eye contact horizontally shows that you are just moving on with your eye contact. This is the best.
  4. Move on as part of the natural flow. If your eye contact is moving from person to person when addressing an audience, it will put you in a position of control over yourself and others too. This gives you a sense of authority that your audience wants.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

These

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, Politics and speaking, presentation skills, Public Speaking books, public speaking tips, Toastmasters, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Why the Fear of Public Speaking?

Posted by Presentation Skills on February 4, 2010

Why do people fear Public Speaking?

There are many statistics that state public speaking is our greatest fear. Apparently it is higher than the fear of spiders, snakes, flying and even death itself (though there are not stats on the fear of dieing from a snake or spider bite while flying)

Why do people fear public speaking so much?

It is something that was conditioned into us in school and we live out in the workplace.

As teenagers at school, the teacher forced us to stand in front of our classmates and deliver a book report. We were given no practice or advice on how we should do it. Being self-conscious teenagers, we stood up and immediately thought everyone was judging us – and judging us poorly! Is it any wonder why there is such a real fear of public speaking. Now at work, when we have to stand and speak, we relive those school day fears and tell each other how much we hate public speaking.

But the reality is far from our school experience. People want to see us succeed. After all, who wants to have to sit through a boreing presentation?

Overcoming your fear of public speaking is very easy when you are shown how to do it. Just like learning to drive a car, it was easy to learn how when someone showed you! How do you do it?

  1. Stop telling yourself and others you don’t like public speaking
  2. Stop telling yourself you are no good at public speaking
  3. Give public speaking a go
  4. Get help from someone who knows about public speaking. You would not go to a mechanic to get legal advice, so go to a speech coach to get speaking advice.

Now, imagine yourself commenting on this.

Cheers

Darren

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

The 5 minute Annual Sales Conference

Posted by Presentation Skills on December 10, 2009

Keep you team and audience interested at the next sales conference by insisting that every person presenting does a lightning talk. These are the instructions:

1. Maximum time allowed: 5 min + Q&A time (time set by you)
2. Slides: Every speaker has 20 slides (no more; no less)
3. Slide transition: Slides automatically move on after 15 seconds (slides cannot be repeated or returned too)
4. No logos on the screen (we know who you work for!)
5. Lights in room stay turned on.

What is the result:
1. Speakers who focus in on their message
2. Speakers who do not waffle
3. Speaker who know their material because they cannot read the slides
4. Audience members who can remain awake through what would otherwise be boring presentations
5. Shorter and more enjoyable presentations

This is how lightning talks work. http://vimeo.com/7021316

Will this work for sales conferences? YES. You just need to be in tune with your message.

Follow these instructions and the annual sales conference will be worth attending for more than just the boozy nights!

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, nervousness, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Comfort vs. Competence

Posted by Presentation Skills on November 23, 2009

Many people say that they are comfortable when speaking to groups. Unfortunately comfort rarely equals competence.

What they mean by saying they are comfortable is that they do not feel nervous when standing in front of a group. This is not usually a good thing. Elton John once told Andrew Denton that he is always nervous before his concerts. He is not alone in performers who feel this way.

Being comfortable has nothing to do with how effective your presentation will be. Effective presentations are about connecting with your audience and having them adopt your message. They are not about you feeling comfortable.

Feel the energy that the opportunity to present gives you. Don’t call it nervousness; call it excitement!

As always, your thoughts on this are appreciated.

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, humour in presentations, nervousness, Network Marketing, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Has Westpac got it wrong?

Posted by Presentation Skills on November 11, 2009

Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia recently launched their TV advert campaign about how they have changed. The campaign highlights that they are now more customer focused. The only problem is, the ads are not saying that.

The key line in all the ads is ‘I am… We are…’ then they explain what that means. Their explanation includes being ‘Factor 30 sunscreen’, ‘not swimming for 30 minutes after eating’ (what ever that means!) and other lines aimed at getting Gen X & Y to remember the fun of their childhood.

But I don’t care about Westpac – I care about me, in the same was as you care about you.

Your thoughts please…….

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Solution

Posted by Presentation Skills on October 28, 2009

Often we have to present information that we don’t think our audience will understand or accept. This new information may be moving them away from what they have always believed or it may be stretching them to consider doing something completely different. It may simply be beyond their level of comprehension. The question is, ‘How do we get around it?’

The solution is always based on the problem. Here are the steps:

1. Tell the audience that you will be sharing something new (prepares for learning)
2. Tell them the benefits of what you are presenting (WIIFM)
3. Tell them who will be doing this in the future (third party endorsement)
4. Tell them that it may take a few explanations to get it – and that you want them to question it (shows strength of argument)
5. Tell them why industry leaders will be adopting your new ideas (gets the audience to self-select as industry leaders)
6. Tell them what your idea is.

Please share your thoughts below.

Cheers, Darren

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, Network Marketing, presentation skills, public speaking, Public Speaking books, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Leave a Comment »

PowerPoint and your Logo – an unhealthy relationship

Posted by Presentation Skills on October 21, 2009

Ever since PowerPoint invaded the world 10+ years ago, the marketing department has insisted that the company logo must be on ALL the slides. It’s now time to move on from that and here’s why:

1. Clients don’t really care about your logo. Let’s face it, do you care about another companies logo and want to see it all the time?
2. You don’t need your logo for branding during the presentation. If the audience cannot remember where you are from during your presentation you’ve got work to do and your logo wont fix it.
3. How excited are you to see Channel 7 put the Olympic logo up 12 months out from the Olympics – annoying isn’t it
4. More often than not, the logo will detract from pictures on the screen. The last thing you want is your logo standing out as something that doesn’t fit in.

Next time, Go Zen – less is more.

Cheers

Darren Fleming
Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | 1 Comment »

World Class PowerPoint

Posted by Presentation Skills on October 16, 2009

The next time you have to give any sort of presentation using PowerPoint, try this:
1. Decide what your main points will be.
2. Visit http://www.istockphoto.com
3. Search for a picture that conveys your idea. For example, if your main point is about performance, look for a picture that shows performance. This could range anywhere from a picture of Formula 1 racing car through to a couple competing in Ballroom dancing. It all depends on the type of performance you are after.
4. Buy the picture (typically about $2-$5)
5. Make the picture as big as the screen.
6. Place minimal text on the slide.
7. Leave the 1 slide up for the whole time you are speaking about that main point (could 10 minutes!)

I guarantee that your audience will not have seen this type of business presentaiton before, and you will be remembered for it….and after all that is what you want!

What is your opinion on this?

Cheers

Darren Fleming
Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, Sales Presentations, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »