communicating with confidence

Oscar acceptance speeches – and why Liam Neeson may be glad he never won!

The Oscars are just a day away. I’m sure the question on everyone’s’ lips is – Who will be the winners?
But there are others who are more interested in 2 other questions:
What will they wear?
What will they say?
Whatever about the outfits – of particular focus this year, will be how many will wear black, in support of the #MeToo campaign.
My particular fascination is with wondering what the winners will say. Will we have speeches along the line of Oprah’s one at The Golden Globes, delivered with eloquence and passion?
While I am not a major movie buff, I do watch with fascination as actors and actresses step to the stage as “themselves”. It is quite amazing how we assume that they are as confident playing “themselves”, as they seem to be in the roles they play.
But that is not always the case, and for some making a speech is something they really fear.
Take for example, Liam Neeson. Neeson has played really strong powerful roles, including Oskar Schindle...
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...

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...