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PowerPoint presentation annoyances

PowerPoint Presentations: Top 3 things that annoy audiences most

According to a survey conducted in 2015 by Dave Paradi of Think Outside The Slide, the top 3 things that annoy audiences most about PowerPoint presentations are:
1.  Speaker reads the slides
2.  Full sentences instead of bullet points
3.  Text too small
If you look at these 3 reasons they all point to the same issue – lack of preparation by the speaker!
If the speaker knew their topic they would show a few key words on each slide, could therefore increase font size and would not need to read from the slides.
Remember that slides are not there to replace you!
Don’t let your PowerPoint take centre stage – your slides are used as a visual aid to enhance your message / presentation not actually be your presentation.
Garr Reynolds in his book Zen Presentations recommends using 7 words per slide, not per line, per slide!  That might sound a bit extreme but it is definitely worth thinking about …..
Bonus Tip: 36.9% of people surveyed above also found that visua...
Hands gesturing

How to gesture naturally

Occasionally during a Masterclass a participant will say that they feel “fake” when they gesture and it is not in their nature to gesture.  Yet, at the coffee break I see them in full flight, gesturing like crazy!
Why? 
Because when they talk about topics they are interested in they become highly animated.
So what does this mean for you?
The trick is to take note of the gestures you use when you are with friends, family or work colleagues when you are telling them about an event or even talking on a topic that winds you up!
When you have noted those gestures see if there is a way you can incorporate some of them into your next presentation – they are the ones you use when you are being natural so they should look more natural when you use them.
The more natural you feel… the more confident you will be… the more connected to the audience you will be!
For further tips on confidence building see our top 3 tips to help you start presentations more confidently.
Good luck...
Confident presentations

3 tips to help you SSS-start your presentation more confidently

Sometimes the first minute of a presentation can be the most nerve wrecking.
The 3 simple tips below will help you get over the hump and start more confidently.
1. Settle yourself: don’t fall under pressure to start talking the second you get up.  Take a moment or two to take a few breaths and get yourself into position.
2. Stand up straight: when we stand tall we can look and feel more confident, it also helps us to project our voice.
3. Smile: a smile around the room lets the audience see you are relaxed and can also make you feel more relaxed and confident.
 ...
Presentation Tip - No milk!

5 slightly obscure presentation tips

Below are our top 5 presentation tips — albeit slightly obscure ones — to help you before and during your presentation…
1. Water, water but never milk!  Never drink milk before a presentation as it coats your vocal chords and impedes your vocal impact.  Sipping water allows there to be silence in the room; pausing is one of the most powerful tools when presenting. It allows your audience to digest what you have just said and it also gives you a chance to think what you will say next.
2. Get that chin parallel.  If you keep your chin parallel to the ground it ensures you are not tilting your head downwards and projecting your voice to the floor.  It also ensures that you do not tilt your chin upwards which can give the impression you are looking down your nose at your audience.
3. Clench your buttocks.  Yes, that was not a misprint, clench your buttocks.  This is a great exercise to do when you feel nervous – immediately your focus is taken from your nerves to...

Truth hurts… but not in the long run

We are delighted to have our founder’s brother, Sean McMahon, doing a guest post about how honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to presenting and public speaking…
We are now living in the era of “fake news” and “new truth” where just by saying something makes it so.  I much preferred the good old days (i.e. pre-2016) when honesty and truth meant that a fact was real and could be relied upon as being true and correct.  Having worked in Financial Services for over 26 years the truth is something that I rely upon every day especially in my interaction with customers and colleagues.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that trying to bluff your way around a subject with a customer when dealing with their money would only end in tears, be this in a presentation or even in a conversation.
Customers found it perfectly acceptable for me to say that I didn’t have the answer to a question and appreciated the fact that I wasn’t trying to pull the woo...

6 steps to a successful speech

These are our six simple steps to help you on your way to being successful with your next speech.  They also work for presentations but in the name of alliteration, “speech” sounded better!
1.  Who is your audience – have you ever listened to a presenter and thought “they don’t know who they’re talking to?”  Research your audience, tailor your presentation and this increases your chances of hitting the target.
2.  What is my purpose – basic but vital.  You need to have a pre-defined purpose that is clear and simple enough that you can put into a single sentence.  It will usually be one or more of the following: to convince, inform, motivate or entertain.
3. Brain dump – everything you know about the topic onto paper as a list or mind map.  Mind maps are great and the MindMapper software is particularly handy if you have difficulty reading your own writing.
4.  Outline – using your brain dump make an outline, while all the time being mindful of the “who”...
Christmas Presentation Tips

C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. Presentation Tips

Here are some light-hearted quirky Christmas Presentation Tips using the acronym C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. – enjoy!
C is for CEO. Have you ever noticed that most CEOs tend to stand tall and command a room?  There’s no reason why can’t do that too!   So, just before you speak, stand as tall as you can and maintain that stance.  It will make you look and feel more confident.
H is for Happy! Look happy to be with your listeners.  The alternative is to look unhappy and miserable which is less likely to help you build that all-important rapport.  However, do bear in mind to match your facial expression with your content.  For example, if your message is to deliver bad news – best not to look as happy as you would for a more up-beat presentation.
R is for Reduce.  Reduce your content to increase your impact.  Most people have too much content in their presentations.  If you reduce your content it is a win-win situation.  You win, because you have less to remember,  Your audienc...

5 tips for creating a fantastic first impression

“How long does it take to create a first impression?”
Two minutes? Twenty seconds? Two seconds?  Some psychologists* would suggest that the length is as short as one tenth of a second.  Therefore, before you have opened your mouth the audience are beginning to form an impression.
So whether you are delivering a high impact business presentation, delivering a presentation at a conference or even a sales presentation, here are a few simple tips to ensure that when you are presenting, you create a fantastic first impression. 
1.  Dress for the occasion
Bearing in mind that the first impression has already begun before you even open your mouth, what you wear really does count.
Two words can address the whole issue of dress code – dress appropriately.  By researching your audience you should have a good idea of what “appropriate” is for the occasion.  Business casual will usually suffice for those in the IT industry, while in the legal world a full suit and tie...

5 Ways Blogging Consistently is Important to Your Business – Guest Post

A huge thanks to Suzanne May from Story Gem for this guest blog on the topic of blogging.  We have been blogging for almost 6 years now and find it brilliant for several reasons.  It allows us to share additional tips with our clients and also helps to attract visitors to our site.  Also, if I am chatting to someone who asks me for tips on a particular issue I can point them to a blog on the website.  It is a win-win, we get another hit and they get relevant information.
Suzanne is a hum-dinger on all things blogging, so read on and enjoy!
When you have a big, important meeting or presentation in work, how do you prepare? You might call On Your Feet, to supercharge your presentation skills – a great idea, in my experience! You might also buy a new outfit, or at least get an existing one dry-cleaned. On the morning of the presentation, you ensure that you are well-groomed and looking your best so that you can put your best foot forward.
Nothing I have said here is news. They ar...
start a presentation

How to lose listeners & alienate your audience!

“How do I start my presentation?” is a question we are asked all the time. Whether it’s addressing a large audience at a conference or presenting to a small team at work, if you get the opening wrong you could end up losing the audience before you begin!
Below are 5 ways NOT to open your presentation:
1. Wear a long gloomy face
Definitely do not smile.  If you do there may be a risk of them thinking you are an open, friendly person and you definitely can’t have that!
2. Tell a filthy inappropriate joke
It’s generally quite difficult to tell a “normal” joke well in front of an audience, let alone a filthy one! Remember not everyone has the same sense of humour as you, and you could end up offending the audience before you start!
3. Apologise for your boring topic…
… and make sure you do it in a dull, monotone voice.  This gives them a licence to snooze, check their emails or start tweeting about what a rubbish presenter you are.
4. Ask...