Tag Archives: presentation skills

Stories are the fingerprint to your platform

Storytelling is a community act that involves sharing knowledge and values. It’s one of the most unifying elements of mankind, central to human existence, taking place in every known culture in the world. In the same way, presentations in all their many forms are never just about transferring information alone. We are emotional beings, like [...]

If confidence could be bottled

Thinking back, the first time I experienced fear of public speaking was in my English Literature class at school. Each classmate had to read a paragraph and as it got closer to my turn, I felt horrible anxiety.  This fear continued for years, but gradually got easier. Today, it truly doesn’t bother me at all. [...]

The power of the pause

Alan Alda, most widely known for his role as Captain Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H said, “It is the stuff between the lines that makes it a great performance.”  Punctuation tells you where, when, and even how long to pause. In public speaking, though, we don’t have punctuation. But that doesn’t mean we [...]

Find your light

Simon senses that something’s amiss. The audience isn’t exhibiting the kind of enthusiasm he expected. He begins to panic: What’s happening? Is there anything he can do to salvage the situation? If your spoken message and your body language are mismatched, audiences will respond to the nonverbal message every time. Every actor knows the expression [...]

Adapting your message to your audience

“What am I going to say? How much information can I fit into the allotted time? Which visuals should I use?”  When giving a presentation, do you immediately dive into the process of selecting material, developing an outline, creating slides and rehearsing content?  Although these steps are important, you risk heading off in the wrong [...]

Conquering stage fright

I’m pretty sure that at some time in your life, you have had to confront stage fright.  Sweaty palms. Heart racing. You know the feeling. Whether it’s five people or fifty, public speaking is a gut-wrenching experience. My worst incident was a presentation in Edinburgh to a large audience on ‘Camping and caravanning in South [...]

How to gain powerful audience participation

Immediately following the introduction, the speaker says, “Good morning.” Automatically, audience members repeat her words. The speaker chides the group, “Oh come on, I’m sure you can do better than that. What’s the matter, not wide awake yet? Now let me hear a big-time ‘Good Morning’ from you. Say it loud and clear!” Instantly, the [...]

Giving a TED-Style presentation

Most presentations are about conveying facts and expectations, not passions and possibilities. And because business speakers represent their organisations instead of themselves, they tend to be cautious not just in what they say, but in how they say it. TED has set the gold standard for public speaking, and TED speakers work very hard at [...]