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Archive for the ‘humour in presentations’ Category

Speak Motivate and Lead

Posted by Presentation Skills on July 4, 2008

Do you want to know how to influence others at work? The you need this book. 

How to influence in today’s work place. The

complete guide to speaking as the Real Leader

you are.


Learn how to speak to your boss, your staff and your clients so they listen,


understand and then take action on what you say.


If you are a Section Manager, Sales Manager, or Chief Executive Officer, connecting with your audience and getting your message across is often a challenge. This power-packed e-book is the answer you have been looking for.


Here is what the Head of Psychology Services for the Australian Olympic Team (1992, 1996, 2000) and Business Psychologist Graham Winter had to say:


“Darren Fleming has created a simple reference guide to the tricky task of getting your message across in a way that doesn’t just inform but actually engages the audience.  The many useful tips will make it a valuable tool for the busy manager and team leader.”


Graham Winter, Consultant Psychologist and Director, Graham Winter Consulting.

Head of Psychology Services, Australian Olympic Team (1992, 1996, 2000)

Author of Think One Team, High Performance Leadership and The Business Athlete

Adelaide, Australia


In this e-book you will learn:

  • The 5 rules of PowerPoint that must be followed so you don’t send your audience to sleep
  • The 7 rules for Presenting in Boardrooms
  • How to control your nervousness when speaking
  • How to make every person in your audience feel as though you are speaking directly with them
  • How you can make any topic interesting – even statistics training can be interesting!
  • How to use your stories to connect with every person in the room
  • And much, much, much more.


Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.


“Don’t be deceived by this seemingly thin book (of 34 pages)! It compresses many nuggets of solid speaking advice that will take you years to find in other public speaking literature. No fluff and straight to the point! Oh, and you will feel really good about yourself because you finally get to read a book in one sitting!”


Eric Feng,

Public Speaking Coach and Author of The FAQ Book of Public Speaking


After reading this e-book you will know how to:

  • Press your audiences’ ‘hot-buttons’
  • Construct your message so people will want to listen
  • How to get the right mental focus for your next sales presentation
  • Connect with your audience in the most powerful way possible
  • Put forward a different opinion and have others buy into it
  • How to use stories to connect with others


And all this for just $17!!!

Here is what other speaker and business leaders have said about Speak Motivate and Lead:


“Effective and persuasive communication made easy. An insightful guide to motivating by speaking – a must for people who deal with people”


John Tindall

MLC Australia

Sydney, Australia


Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.


In Speak, Motivate, & Lead, Darren Fleming offers a quick but effective look at many areas of public speaking. He includes examples from his personal coaching and speaking, which are effectively mixed with mini-case studies.

He also offers concrete solutions and methods to many speaking situations, including impromptu speaking, handling boardroom meetings, and appropriately tackling humour.


A quick read, Speak, Motivate, & Lead is an excellent resource to keep nearby to refer to again and again.


Rich Hopkins

Speaker – Author – Coach

Judged in the Top 100 Speakers in the World by Toastmasters International 5 times since 2002. Author of Win Place and Show



At just $17 it is a great investment in your career.

Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.


If you have to stand before any group and motivate them to follow your directions, you need to speak as a real Leader. This e-book will show you how to do that.


“The information is concise yet detailed with great examples that illustrate the fundamentals in presentation skills.”


Palmo Carpino

Applied Communications Inc

Alberta Canada

OK! Get the e-book now!


Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, nervousness, Network Marketing, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, Public Speaking books, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

How to Make Statistics Training Interesting!

Posted by Presentation Skills on March 24, 2008

I recently had the opportunity to offer some presentation coaching with a client – Trina – who spent her day delivering statistical training. Her area of speciality was ‘imputation’, which looks at how you estimate certain numbers. As you could imagine, you could make the topic very dry and boring without even trying!

As I watched Trina deliver her training, I noticed that the people in the room were actually becoming involved and excited (well OK – Just involved) in what was being presented. Granted the participants were interested in the information, but lets face it, this was the fourth day of a full week of advanced statistical training! People were bound to be tired and over it. Why were these people so interested?

At the end of the training, Trina came up to me and apologised for all the things that she did wrong, and wished that she could do better. She said this was why she needed public speaking coaching. She apologised for holding her notes while she spoke, apologised for being nervous and apologised for being genuinely excited about the topic when no-one else was. What she did not realise was that her excitement for the topic was what made her so successful at her job.

Her enthusiasm for her topic was evident from the start. She told the participants that she was genuinely excited about the statistical Normal Curve, and what could be achieved by understanding it. She told stories of how her last employer ignored the normal curve, and how it cost them dearly. She showed the participants how they could follow the rules and avoid the same dire consequences. This is what involve the audience.

It was her enthusiasm for the subject that really entertained the audience. She was excited, and happy to be training and the carried her through and the audience through what was at times very tough and tedious learning

The fact that she held her notes, was no real distraction. The audience knew it was a technical presentation, and knew there was a lot of information to be presented, and understood that it would have been difficult to present off the top of your head. I gave her a few pointers on how to reduce the number of notes. She had several pages of the notes she was using. These were primarily be PowerPoint slides she was talking to. She could have made these notes more useful to her by reducing the amount that she wrote on them. Simple bullet points instead of full sentences would have helped her.

She also would have been better do not read the slides verbatim. Many public speaking articles have been written about how to use PowerPoint properly. They all suggest that you should not read what is on the slides as it simply distracts the audience. In fact, there is some research coming out of the University of New South Wales suggesting that reading the slides at the same time as people listening to you and reading them reduces the amount that they take in. This is due to cognitive overload. Our brain can only do so much at once and if we have to listen and read the same stuff, we will not taken as much information.

So yes it is possible to make statistics interesting! If Trina could make statistics interesting, can’t you make you all topic interesting? How do you do this? Follow Trina’s example: be excited about your topic; have stories relate to your topic; & show how the stories relate to your audience.

You can get more information about stories in public speaking by following this link to Executive Speaking.

Till later,



If you liked this, there are more great tips on making any speech interesting at Speak Motivate and Lead.
Australian Public Speaking courses

Posted in humour in presentations, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Arguing with Whiskey

Posted by Presentation Skills on March 17, 2008

Have you ever struggled with how to structure your message so you will get buy-in from your audience? If you are in a management position you will know what I mean. T0 truly get full buy-in from your audience, you need to get inside their heads and understand what they want and what they are thinking.

One of the greatest examples of understanding your audience comes from the 1933 Mississippi Lawmaker Noah ‘Soggy’ Sweat. During the debate about prohibition he was asked for his thougths on Whiskey. This is what he had to say:

If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

If when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to be compromised on matters of principle.

This is a classic example of how to structure your message to include certian parts of your audience.

The strength of this speech lies in the listeners opinion. For example, if you are against whiskey then you would love the first half of his speech. If you were for whiskey, then you would hold on to the second part of his speech. But the clever part is that the speech shows the strength of the opposing views. This helps to bring the two sides together.

How can you use this in the workplace?

If you are presenting an argument, consider the opposing sides view. This is often called playing the Devils Advocate. By understanding where you audience is positioned, you will be equipped to present an argument that they will accept and adopt.

‘Til next time.


Darren Fleming – Australia’s public Speaking Coach


Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, Politics and speaking, public speaking, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Darren Fleming and Executive Speaking

Posted by Presentation Skills on February 10, 2008

If you’re looking to improve your presentation and communication skills, you need someone who has spoken to large audiences, can show you how to use humour and can give you the skills to think on your feet.

Darren Fleming from Executive Speaking can teach you the skills that you are after.

Are you WOWing your Audience?

Get these skills from


Posted in Executive Speaking Video, humour in presentations, nervousness, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking tips | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Nuts and Bolts of Public Speaking: Book review

Posted by Presentation Skills on February 3, 2008

I have just finished a great book on public Speaking, The Nuts and Bolts of Public Speaking.  The author Craig Valentine is the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking and a highly paid keynote speaker in the US.

What sets this book apart from others is that it focuses on the basics.  From speech structure to how to use the rule of three to gte your point across with more impact, this book has it all.

There is one fantastic section that I loved.  It was on finding the magical moments from your own life that will bring your speech alive.  These are the parts of your speech that the audience will hang off.  Despite what we think, we all have an enormous amount of stories that we can draw upon to help us illustrate our points.  This section is well worth the cost of the book alone.

If this book could be improved anywhere, it is that there is no index or detailed table of contents.  This is a great reference book, but the lack of an index makes it difficult to reference!

Over all, a great book, and you can order a copy from Craig here.  Just tell him I sent you.

‘Til next time.


Darren Fleming

Australian Toastmasters Champion

Posted in humour in presentations, Martketing your speaking skills, nervousness, presentation skills, public speaking, Public Speaking books, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | 4 Comments »

How (not) to give a PowerPoint Presentation

Posted by Presentation Skills on December 17, 2007

If you are looking for information on how to put together a PowerPoint presentation, you should see this 7 minute video. 

As Homer Simpson said, “It’s funny ‘cos it’s true”Cheers

Darren Fleming


Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips | 1 Comment »

Breaking the Rules of Public Speaking video

Posted by Presentation Skills on November 4, 2007

I recently wrote about breaking the rules of Public Speaking.

Here is the video of my Speech in Fremantle, Australia on the rules of public Speaking and how we can break them and get away with it.


Darren Fleming

Australia Public Speaking Courses

Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, nervousness, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking humour, public speaking tips | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Eulogy

Posted by Presentation Skills on November 4, 2007

One of the toughest gigs in public speaking is the eulogy.  It is something that no one likes to do, and if you are known for having some skills in public speaking, by default it will become your duty to deliver it.  I recently had the opportunity to help a very good friend prepare the eulogy for her father.  I thought that I would share some of the tips that helped her.  These are not just speaking tips that I have read, but tips I used when I delivered the eulogy for my father as well. 

  1. The Eulogy (like the funeral service) is for the living, not the deceased.  It is a way of public remembering your loved one and what they meant to you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to re-write history.  This does not mean that you turn the deceased into the saint they never were.  Rather, it means looking for the brighter things your loved one gave to you and others.  Shine the light on the best parts and remember them.
  3. Tell stories.  People will want to hear about the stories of your loved one and what they meant to you.  It is these stories that other will remember long after the service has ended.
  4. Have a support structure for delivering your eulogy.  This may mean having the speech written out with you, someone by your side, or someone prepped to take over should you become too emotional.
  5. Don’t be afraid to let the emotion show.
  6. Don’t be afraid to have a laugh.  At my fathers’ funeral, one of the speakers was Dads best mate.  He recounted many funny stories that we had never heard.  Even the officiating Minister was in fits of laughter.  The speech mirrored Dads’ life, and this helped us to remember him.
  7. Finally, take a recording of the day.  Have someone take photos and make an audio recording of the day.  This may sound macabre, but its not.  As with all major events in life, we want to look back and relive the emotions of the day.  A funeral is no different.

 Do you have any other suggestions for the Eulogy? 


Darren Fleming

Australian Public Speaking Courses


Posted in Eulogies, humour in presentations, nervousness, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking humour, Understanding your audience | 1 Comment »

Breaking the Rules of Public speaking

Posted by Presentation Skills on September 25, 2007

Many people are of the opinion that there are a number of sacred rules in public speaking that should never be broken. You should never race through your speech, you should never hold the lectern and you should never turn your back on the audience.

I would like to challenge the validity of these rules.

I have been a Toastmaster for over 13 years, and have often pushed these rules on others. But I firmly believe that there comes a time when you must break the rules to reach the audience.

Case in point: The rule that you should never turn your back on the Audience while speaking.

At face value this seems like a good rule to follow as it helps you to engage the audience more.

However, it is possible to turn your back on the audience and engage them even more than when you are looking at them.

Recently I competed in the District 73 Toastmasters annual convention in Perth Australia. I was competing in the Table Topics competition final. About 2000 people from across Australia had competed in this impromptu speaking competition, and I was one of just 7 people left standing. In this competition, you are given the topic and expected to start speaking on it straight away. The only preparation time you have is while you are walking across the stage.

The topic we had was:

“If you obey all the rules, you miss out on half the fun.  Is this a good philosophy to live by?”

As I walked across the stage, I decided that I would break some rules myself. As I approached the centre of the stage, I turned and put my back to the audience and started speaking. I spoke about the rules that we should not break when speaking. The main rule was about keeping eye contact with your audience. I then proceeded to make fun of the rules about ensuring that you move across the stage so everyone sees you. Next was my favourite rule – the need to pause. I paused so long that even I forgot what I was going to say next. However, the audience laughed hearterly as I broke the rules that they all held so closely to themselves.

Whats more, when the judges returned their decision, I was the winner! From speaking to the others in the audience (and not just my friends!) I was a clear and unanimous winner.

So, it just goes to show, you don’t need to follow all the rules to achieve your objectives.

However, might I suggest that you have a good understanding of the rules of Public Speaking and know how they operate before you go out and break them. If you don’t understand the rule and how it operates, you may be doing your cause more harm than good it you decide to break the rules!

There is a copy of my presentation on YouTube.  It goes for 5 min and can be viewed here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4ZOPZvzG6o



Posted in humour in presentations, public speaking, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | 1 Comment »

Jokes and Public Speaking

Posted by Presentation Skills on September 2, 2007

When speaking to any audience, it is important to build rapport as quickly as possible. Humour can be a great way to do this.  However, leave the jokes aside. 

It is often thought that starting a presentation with a joke will get the audience on-side; however jokes will fail more than they succeed.  This will leave people laughing at you and not with you! 

Why is this? Most jokes rely on having a victim that you make fun of.  If the audience identifies with you more than the victim they will find the joke funny.  However, there will always be some who identify with the victim and will think your joke is poor taste.  If there are too many of these people in the audience your joke will fall flat. 

Jokes also rely on exact wording and timing to be carried off properly.  If this is out slightly your joke will fall flat.  Also, most of the funniest jokes cannot be told in public! 

If you are constantly opening with jokes, you will get a reputation for this.  You would be better off building a reputation as someone who has something important to say. Finally, if you do happen to find the right joke and deliver it properly and everyone thinks it’s funny, they will probably remember the joke more than what you had to say. 

If your joke overshadows your content you will not be able to deliver your message.   

Humour is important in all presentations, just don’t use jokes! 

So what should you use? 

Situational humour is often the best.  This involves knowing what is going on around you right now.  This can be simply passing a comment or making an observation on what is going on. 

The reason this works is that if you are thinking it, there is a good chance others are thinking it too.  If they are also thinking it, they will laugh. 

Another type of humour is self depricating humour. This is where you are the butt of the humour. This will show the audience that you do not take yourself too seriously.  This will build great respect for you. 

Remember you don’t always have to use humour to communicate.  If you don’t think yourself funny, don’t try and force it as it won’t work.    If you are unsure if a line will work, try dropping it into a conversation and see what reaction you get.  This will give you a good guide to see if it works.

Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, public speaking humour | Leave a Comment »