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Lies, Dam Lies and Statistics

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 30, 2011

Lies, Dam lies and Statistics

How to make statistics interesting…..

Cheers

Darren Fleming – Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

http://www.executivespeaking.com.au

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Posted in Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, Language of Leadership, presentation skills, Presentation skills training, Presentation skills training Adelaide, Presentation skills training Brisbane, Presentation skills training Melbourne, Presentation skills training Sydney, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Jokes and Presentations – Don’t do it!

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 7, 2011

Real Leaders know how to uncover the humour in their message to make their audience laugh.

When speaking to any audience, it is important to build a rapport with them as quickly as possible—and humour can be a great way to make this connection. However, it’s often best to leave the punch-line jokes aside and focus on more subtle types of humour.

It’s a misconception that beginning a presentation with a joke will get the audience on your side. In fact, jokes will fail far more often than they will succeed. There are several reasons for this unfortunate outcome:
• The funniest jokes are usually not appropriate for the work environment.
• Most jokes rely on a victim—and chances are that someone will identify more with the victim than with you. If the audience identifies with you more than the victim they will find the joke funny.  However, there will be people in the audience who identify with the victim and will think your joke is in poor taste.  If there are too many of these people in the audience, the joke will fail.
• Jokes require exact wording, good delivery, and perfect timing.  If you don’t carry off all three of these things, your joke will fall flat and leave you struggling.
• If you are constantly opening with jokes, you will get a reputation for it. You would be better off building a reputation as someone who has something important to say than as someone who cracks jokes.
• 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, it will  prevent you from delivering your message.

Although structured jokes with punch lines are almost always a poor choice for your a presentations, humour is an important aspect of all public speaking presentations.

One type of humour that works well when applied to speeches is situational humour. Situational humour can involve making observations on what is going on around you at that moment. Chances are good that if you find something in your immediate environment is funny, others will too. Situational humour can also be used in the stories that you tell.

Another type of humour that works well in a speech or presentation is self-deprecating humour. In this case, you are the only victim of the joke and no one else is hurt or offended. More than that, self-deprecation shows the audience that you are not taking yourself too seriously and helps them build a fondness and respect for you.

Remember: even though humour can be a useful and fun tool to utilise, it is not required to successfully communicate with your audience. If you know that you are lacking a sense of humour, don’t try and force humour into your presentations—focus on your strengths instead. If you are unsure of whether or not a line is funny, try dropping it into a casual conversation and gauge the reactions—even if it doesn’t meet with laughter, it’s a better option than having a bit of humour flop in the midst of a speech.

Posted in Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, humour in presentations, Politics and speaking, presentation skills, Presentation skills training, Presentation skills training Adelaide, Presentation skills training Brisbane, Presentation skills training Melbourne, Presentation skills training Sydney, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

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

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 »

More Strength to Your Arm

Posted by Presentation Skills on July 26, 2010

When you want to have more power in what you say or write, what do you do?

There are two ways people try to increase the strength of what they say or write. The first is to increase the word count. They put in a whole bunch of adjectives to give their message more weight. These include words very, exactaly, precisely, huge etc in the hope that it will give their point more weight. The better approach is to take the Zen path and reduce the word count. Cut the adjectives and excess words that do not add value. Pay particular attention to any adjectives ending in the ‘ly’. Words ending in ly weaken your sentence and reduce the strength of your message. The next time you see an e-mail with an ly word in it, re-read it without the word and see the sentence change.

As always, your thoughts appreciated here

Posted in Executive Speaking Skills, Language of Leadership, nervousness, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

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 »

How Will You be Different for Your Clients in 2010?

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 11, 2010

With 2010 promising more than 2009 ever could, how will you be different for your clients? Will your sales team visit them and offer the same products in the same old way, just hoping that they will need your products this time?

Or will you enable them to be different. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Break the mould: Give staff permission to vary the traditional sales presentation. If the client sees the 2010 sales presentation as 2009 extended, why would they pay attention? They have seen it before!
  2. Then jump on the bits of the mould: Encourage your staff to try something different. Just because your staff have permission to try something new in the sales presentation side does not mean that they will. Actively encourage them to be different.
  3. Equip them: Give them the tools to be different. This includes training, support material and maybe even pricing structures (though this is not as important). If you want things to change, how will they change unless you drive the changes with a new approach?
  4. Get ideas from industries not related to you. If you are in the superannuation game, look at what the food sector is doing to sell their product. You will be amazed at what you can learn. If you look at your own industry too much you will put the blinkers on to what is possible. Industry experts have their place, but keep your eyes open for someone who knows nothing about what you do. That is the person who will question the norm.

If 2010 is to be different to 2009, how will YOU make it different. As always, your thoughts are appreciated below….

Cheers,

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

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

How to Give World Class Business Presentaions

Posted by Presentation Skills on June 4, 2009

When you are speaking, you are selling.

You could be selling your latest widget to your next customer, your ideas to your staff, or selling yourself in your annual performance review. What ever it is, you are selling.

But the reality is the results that you achieve will be a direct result of how well you present your ideas, as opposed to how good your ideas are. The world is full of bad ideas that were sold correctly, while the good ideas die with their creator.

If you want to sell more products, if you want your staff to listen to you, or if you want to be able to get that pay rise, you need to be able to sell your ideas, and sell them well.

Recorded in front of a live audience, in this audio will give you the reasons why you need to:

  • Include stories in your next presentation
  • Control the room from the moment you enter it
  • Why you need to make your very first word interesting
  • Why PowerPoint fails more often than it succeeds…and

The one thing you must remember at the start of every presentation so your audience will listen to you

At just $15, this could just be the best investment you make in your next Business Presentation.

Get it now

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, humour in presentations, Martketing your speaking skills, Network Marketing, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Toastmasters, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

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,

Cheers,

Darren

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

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