Want to get outstanding results from your next presentation? The best presenters are able to pull, not push, ideas. Use the P-U-L-L strategies every time you want to connect with and influence any size audience. Here’s how—a two-minute read….
Even with a short amount of time, you can find practice opportunities in the shower, the car, while jogging, or as you eat breakfast the day of your presentation. The key here is to either review the words in your mind or say the words aloud when nobody else is around. You are most audience-aware and most nervous at the beginning of your talk, so knowing those opening sentences will give you a boost.
This helps you immediately PULL in the audience because you can make better eye contact with them and connect immediately.
Most training and development professionals enter the field knowing that their role entails a considerable amount of work in front of learning groups. While today’s learners participate in a realm of online, blended, and web-based programs as well as classroom training, they expect the learning leader to be an accomplished presenter—no matter the format! Continue Reading →
By Cyndi Maxey and Kevin E. O’Connor
“And now a few words from….” As a leader, you represent lots of people all the time—and you are going to be called on to “say a few words.” It is natural for you to be a frequent and integral part of peoples’ achievements, milestones, and gatherings. For these spontaneous speaking opportunities, your first priority is to make the other person look great. A little known second opportunity is to look very good yourself. This is what the audience wants. This contributes to their experience. So consider these pointers to help you manage the next spontaneous opportunity you have at the microphone. Continue Reading →
A few days ago, we folded up the metal crate that once frequently corralled our Labrador retriever, Max, in a corner of our family room. We replaced it with a soft cushion that we figured he would appreciate as a now-mature pup of three. But to our surprise Max did not take immediately to the change. He padded around it, avoiding its presence as if saying; ”This smells like a store—not me; where’s my old thing and what’s with you people?”
After several demonstrations on our part—which included our lying on the new pad, lying on the pad holding his favorite toy, even putting a peanut-butter coated toy on the pad for enticement—Max finally tried out the new thing—but only barely touching the corner of it. Then, after several days, he began to lie on it fully. Now it is his favorite spot in the room.
Isn’t it funny how one person’s idea of a good change is not another’s? As we all enter the New Year we will most likely be facing the continuation of things known and anticipating the introduction of some new ones. As we approach change that each New Year brings, can we also let go of our own homey “crates”? Can we take a mature look at the boundaries that have confined us to the old and accept the challenge and inspiration of the new?
By Cyndi Maxey, CSP and Kevin E. O’Connor, CSP
When you want to influence where it counts, in the day-to-day lives experience of the audience, there may be no better way than the tried and true panel discussion. Beyond a formal presentation, even beyond a random question and answer session, the panel format brings the “real life” of experts on the panel to the “real life” of the audience. It is an opportunity for a special kind of presentation intimacy.
When you’re asked to participate, say, “Yes!” You will find your participation on a panel to be a terrific way to get very, very clear about what you believe, a highly effective way to see your ideas take root with an eager audience, and will even become a great networking and marketing opportunity for you and your fellow panelists. Panels also give you a chance to communicate your style and share your organization’s best efforts and actions around a theme. They allow for highly individualized styles, so don’t be afraid to be yourself and to be different from the other panelists. This often adds the spice and spark and life to a panel not available any other way.
Continue Reading →
Most training and development professionals enter the field knowing that their role entails a considerable amount of time in front of learning groups. While today’s learners participate in online, blended, and web-based programs as well as classroom training, they expect the learning leader to be an accomplished presenter—no matter the format!
If it has been awhile since you’ve assessed your presentation style and ability in front of groups, take a moment to review the tips below. Many of them apply to webinar presentations as well as those that are face-to-face. And the tips will help you with other aspects of your job that require making presentations; for example, when you’re called upon to
Remember, every time you present, you are being considered, observed, and judged for bigger and better things.
By Cyndi Maxey, CSP, and Kevin E. O’Connor CSP
Many professionals, when asked to speak at a conference, put off doing much about it until the last minute. While most don’t have a fairy godmother, they operate as if they do—as if a tiny person with a magic wand will appear and make everything come together as they walk in the room. If that conference presenter is you, read this article instead of investing in a magic wand. You’ll be able to work your own magic.
The Invitation to Speak Is to You…but Is Really About Someone Else
Being invited to speak at a professional conference is a compliment to your skills and talents. You’ve been asked to share your wisdom; the meeting planner is counting on you as well as your audience. There are those early in their careers who will learn from you as well as peers and higher-ups who will catalog your presentation in their minds to use for future networking, research, and promotions.
Therefore, the first order of business is to consider who is coming to hear you, what do they want, what do they need, and what do you have that will be useful to them.
Most of you have changed jobs a few times in your career; in fact, you will probably have about seven to thirteen jobs in a lifetime. Think for a moment of the jobs you’ve had to date, including your current work. What do you recall about the environments, the people, and the unspoken rules—the cultures of each workplace? Chances are they were all fairly unique. Most of us have experienced several organizational cultures before we’re thirty. We have learned from them and how to adapt to them. The successful presenter can do the same—and yet this important step to presentations planning is often overlooked.
Culture is important. The emotional impact of culture is important. An understanding of culture is priceless for the stellar presenter. When you understand the culture of your potential audience, you have an edge on influence. This is especially true and important for women presenters who are often left out of inner circle discussions and male executive networks. Culture is tricky; it’s often difficult to find immediately; it is unspoken and is comprised of traditions, language, experiences, and environmental changes.
Business & Professional Communication
DePaul University, Chicago, IL
College of Communication